Agri Business

Tea board concerned at lukewarm reception to SPTF

P. S. Sundar Coonoor | Updated on September 29, 2011

Mr R Ambalavanan, Executive Director, Tea Board (file photo)

Tea Board is concerned at the lukewarm reception by South Indian plantations to its Special Purpose Tea Fund (SPTF) offering subsidy for replanting and rejuvenation.

“Of the Rs 200 crore earmarked under SPTF during XI Plan ending in March 2012, only Rs 110 crore had been utilised and that too, mostly by plantations in North India. Replanting entails uprooting old plants for which, earth movers like JCB have to be used. As there is blanket ban to use JCBs in the Nilgiris, planters are not availing SPTF. So, we are urging district administration and State Government to permit JCB use for genuine purposes. We have also asked planters to try other mechanical devices like earth diggers,” Tea Board Executive Director, Mr R Ambalavanan told Business Line on the sidelines of 120th NPA Annual General Meeting.

NPA Chairman, Mr Jiten Pareek told the AGM that the major hurdle is obtaining permission for JCB usage. “The cost formula for the subsidy has lost relevance and needs to be revised upwards. We also need subsidy for irrigation. The subsidy for orthodox tea manufacture should continue,” he said.

Published on September 29, 2011

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