Commodities

Billing: Bought-leaf factories want Tea Board to follow Kerala High Court order

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 29, 2017

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The Nilgiri Bought Leaf Tea Manufacturers’ Association has appealed to Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to instruct the Tea Board to follow the orders of the Kerala High Court, which had stayed the board’s advisory for raising the tax invoice in the name of brokers for teas sold through auctions.

“Our association is a respondent to the writ petition filed by Malankara Plantations Ltd in the Kerala High Court. The judgement passed on August 16 has allowed our petition challenging the board’s advisory. This, in effect, means that pending the disposal of the writ petition, the pattern of raising the sellers’ billing for teas sold through the auction centres can be continued to be followed,” the association’s President, H B Ananthan, said.

“This is important because at the meeting convened by the Tea Board in Kolkata to resolve the billing issue after the implementation of the GST, the board had told us that it would advice us after obtaining a legal opinion. Though several weeks have elapsed since then, we have not had any advice from the board. And, pending that advice, we have been continuing with the sellers’ billing pattern till now. In a way, the Kerala High Court’s staying of the board’s advisory for brokers’ billing instead of sellers’ billing indicates that we are right in continuing with our system,” Ramesh Bhojarajan, Chairman, Coonoor Tea Trade Association (CTTA), told Business Line.

“Since the implementation of GST on July 1, the auctions at Coonoor and Coimbatore have been greatly hit, as some corporate buyers are not bidding.

“Interestingly, some buyers are purchasing the same teas outside the auction under the same sellers’ billing pattern, which they object to at the auctions. This leaves us with an impression that there is a calculated move to sabotage the auction system to bring down the prices,” Ananthan added.

Published on August 29, 2017
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