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anithagkl
Occasional poster


Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dear members,

I am opening up an old issue of tea price vis-a vis the official apathy of the Tea Board of India for allowing tea prices to be quoted at low prices artificially due to the unholy nexus between the tea brokers and the Tea Board officials; nexus between the tea brokers and the tea buyers; thereby inflicting pain and hardship to lakhs of tea growers and tea manufacturers. So please spare a few moments to read the following for the cause of our people.

We all accept that the tea price is affecting the livelihood of the people of Nilgiris and Badagas in particular. We have been channeling our energy against the Government of TamilNadu and were happy if the State Government gave us a paltry sum in the name of subsidy. It is high time we think beyond such short-term measures and analyze the real cause of low tea price.

Lakhs of tea growers are dependent upon about 170 tea factories in Nilgiris. The tea manufactured in the factories is being sold through only 7 or 8 tea brokerage firms. Numerous buyers purchase the tea, which are distributed within India and are also exported. Thus one could see that the tea brokers hold the key to the tea industry.

The retail price of tea is in the range from Rs120- 200/kg or more. The auction price of tea at Coonoor is below Rs.50/kg. So what has happened to the remaining hundred Rupees? This is because of the nexus between buyers and tea brokers.

Almost all the tea factories have borrowed few lakhs of Rupees from the tea brokers to start the factory without understanding the consequences of the exorbitant interest charged. The compounded interest charged is about 36% per annum. Thus tea factories have been forced into a debt trap and have become mute spectators as the tea brokers decide the price of tea. About 100 factories are shut down in Nilgiris as they are not able to withstand the high interest rate.

The tea growers are the real sufferers in this whole process as they depend upon the factories for tealeaf rate. Since tea factories get less value for the tea sold, they are forced to reduce the rate of tealeaf. Thus about 8 tea brokers through a hundred and odd factories are exploiting lakhs of tea growers.

Thus the crux of the issue of low tea price lies in the fact that tea factories are in a debt trap of the tea brokers.

The Tea Board of India is the licensing authority for the tea brokers. As per the licensing norms, no tea broker is supposed to lend money to any tea manufacturer. In violation of this, the tea brokers have been charging exorbitant interest from the tea factories. The Tea Board officials have been showing a blind eye to this social evil, which needs to be questioned by each one of us. Unless this violation is set right, the price of tea is not going to improve.

The important tool available with each one of us to make the Tea Board officials take action against the tea brokers is the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Some questions that could be asked are:
1) Are tea brokers entitled to lend money to tea manufacturers? If yes, under which norm/rule/act. Please furnish a copy of the same.
2) Are tea brokers lending money to tea manufacturers?
3) Is Tea Board aware that tea brokers are lending money to tea manufacturers at exorbitant rate of interest?
4) If tea brokers are not entitled to lend money to tea manufacturers, what is the action taken by Tea Board against tea brokers.
5) If the Tea Board officials against the tea brokers do not take action, please furnish the names of the erring Tea Board officials.
6) What action has been taken against the erring Tea Board officials?

By seeking information under RTI, we can activate the whole Government machinery, as they are supposed to furnish information within 30 days from the date of application. Many applications should be sent to Tea Board so that the issue will not die and we can accomplish many things, which we cannot achieve through courts, etc.

My only wish is that there should be more discussion on this subject so as to take it to a logical end, as I believe that as learned members of our community we can achieve justice. A lot of things have been happening in the scene where the Central Bureau of Investigation, National Human Rights Commission, Chief Vigilance Commissioner have been alerted, which will be elaborated during our course of discussion.




Last edited by anithagkl on Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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bjaypee
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Joined: 01 Aug 2001
Posts: 198

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Mrs.Anitha Gokul,

You have put the ills that are affecting the 'TEA FRONT' in a very clear and elobarate way. It needs our urgent attention and action.

The 'brokers cartel' with some gullible bought tea leaf factory owners have ruined a generation now.

Your views require the immediate attention of all those 'small' tea growers - especialy Badagas whose lives have been very closely linked to tea and tea prices.

It is high time, we TAKE SOME ACTION AT ONCE !!

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Wg Cdr JP - http://www.badaga.wordpress.com , http://www.baduga.in , www.badaga.name
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anithagkl
Occasional poster


Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:40 am Reply with quoteBack to top

As per licensing norms of the Tea Board of India, tea brokers are not supposed to lend money to tea factories. In violation of these norms, money is lent. This violation is going unabated because the tea board officials are not taking action against the tea brokers. By questioning the officials, we can force them to take action on tea brokers. Once that happens, then tea brokers will not have the guts to harass tea factories and pull them to courts. By this we can liberate the tea industry from the clutches of the brokers and see bouyancy in the tea leaf rates for sure.

Tea brokers have very deep pockets to overcome any hurdle that might come in their way. So the only option left with us is to hold officials responsible for their negligence of duty. I have sent three seperate applications under RTI today. A copy of these are as follows. I would appreciate if more members would send similar letters or better versions so as to put pressure on the officials concerned, which would cost a mere ten Rupees.
To
1.Shri. Basudeb Banerjee I.A.S.,
Chairman,
Tea Board of India,
14, B.T.M. Sarani ( Brabourne Road)
Kolkota 700 001.

2.Shri. R.D.Nazeem,
Executive Director,
Tea Board of India Zonal Office,
Shelwood,
Coonoor Club Road,
Post Box No: 6,
Coonoor 643 101
Nilgiris
Tamil Nadu.

3.Sri. Raj Singh
Director,
Room No: 225,
Udyog Bhavan,
Dept of Commerce,
Ministry of Commerce and Industries
New Delhi 110 011.

Sir,

Sub: Application under Right to Information Act, 2005

Please find enclosed a Postal Order for Rs 10/- with a request to furnish the following information under Right to Information Act, 2005.

1) Are Tea brokerage firms entitled to lend money to tea manufacturers? If yes, under which norm/rule/act? Please furnish a copy of the same.
2) Are tea brokerage firms lending money to tea manufacturers?
3) Is the Ministry/Tea Board of India aware that tea brokerage firms are lending money to tea manufacturers at exorbitant rate of interest?
4) If tea brokerage firms are not entitled to lend money to tea manufacturers, what action the Ministry/Tea Board of India against tea brokerage firms has taken?
5) If the Ministry/Tea Board officials against the tea brokerage firms do not take action, please furnish the names of the erring Ministry/Tea Board official or officials.
6) What action has been taken against the erring Ministry/Tea Board official or officials?
7) Who is the authority responsible to take action on the erring official/officials?
icon_cool.gif If no action has been taken, what action has been taken against the authority responsible to take action?
9) Please furnish a copy of the licensing norms for Tea brokers.
10) What is the action taken by the Ministry/Tea Board of India to improve the system of getting better price for made tea?
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bjaypee
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Joined: 01 Aug 2001
Posts: 198

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Regarding the postal order, please

_________________
Wg Cdr JP - http://www.badaga.wordpress.com , http://www.baduga.in , www.badaga.name

Last edited by bjaypee on Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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anithagkl
Occasional poster


Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The Central Public Information officers concerning tea in the Ministry of Commerce and Industries are
1.The Chairman, Tea Board of India
2. The Executive Director,Tea Board of India
3 .The Director, Dept of Commerce.
The full address' have been given in the previous post.

A postal order needs to be drawn (costs Rs 10 ) and should be enclosed along with the letter containing the questionaire as mentioned above. An acknowledgement card may also be sent. Three such postal order +letter+aknowledgement card need to be drawn for each officer and sent seperately.
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