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l_santhosh
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Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 3:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

A couple of weeks ago I received a mail from Kolkata(with all the documents I had sent asking for info using RTI act) saying that the application had to be sent to the CPIO.
For the other two applications sent to Coonoor and Delhi, there has been no response so far.
In any case, the applications were intended just to put more pressure on the authorities....so I guess there's no point in following up on that....as we have moved much ahead.

On the reply from Ex. Director Nazeem...
He sounds downright ridiculous when he says that to furnish all those info, a couple of lakhs will have to be spent.
The RTI is one of the tools with which the common man can bring down any mighty governmental set-up/ authority....and to mention that one(the common man) will have to pay that huge a sum(without suggesting alternatives - and look at that tone) proves that he/ his dept. is not interested in revealing everything in black and white.
After all the Act is intended for the common man(who does not have lakhs).

Fortunately, we have alternatives as Anitha has suggested.

In my opinion, the movement seems to have gained momentum though there are not many of us taking part in these discussions.
And because of that it might get burdensome(sooner rather than later) if one person handles everything.
I suggest we find a way to share the load.
We just cannot wait for one person to do everything and reach the goal.
There will be many hurdles and we need to handle them as one.
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ebhari
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Joined: 31 Dec 1999
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The Indian judicial system takes light years to give Judgements. But when we have a plan and are focussed, justice may be delayed, but not denied.

Fighting at the same time, I also have deep concerns about the quality of leaves supplied by us to the Co-op factories. The adulterous mixing done by middlemen adds to the woes as well.

Yes, Its our responsibility to share the greivances irrespective of whether we own 10 Gidus (10 Plants) or 1 Million hectares. Its a collective effort.

Football being my passion, I strongly believe in team work. The same could be applied in family, work, business and fight for justice, just the way the Tibetans are doing.

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Emerald Bhojan Hariharan.

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ebhari
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Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Eagerly awaiting my turn to contribute.

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Emerald Bhojan Hariharan.

DREAM. INSPIRE. EVOLVE.
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deva_mathan
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Joined: 31 Dec 1998
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:00 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Anitha Golul & Dear members of this forum,

I thank Anitha for having sent me the copy of FIR.

I tried convincing some gowdas. sitting at hettai amman Trust office - Manjoor based on the documents. While several seem to be happy of what is discussed, an unexpected thing happend.

An Ex-MLAs son [ apparently with some followers for his EX STATUS ], said all the FIRs submitted by tea factory owners are frauds and defaulters of loans & funds granted to them and they have made FIR only to swallow money and evade action by Tea Board.

I am shocked by his talk and way of presentation to his favour.

I suppose, because of these pseudo supporters, people like Nazeem take advantageous position and try to ask so much money by DD and all down right refusal means to submit information needed. Notwithstatnding the legal delays, in thus situation, I am proposing a small amount by various members participating in this forum, to be given to Anita as expenses towards RTI fee [ I am sure, it is not going to be the amount said by Mr Nazeem ] & Postal charges for furthering the cause for grtaeter benefit of our badaga society.

Any suggestions ?


Cheers!

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ebhari
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Let's get ahead. I vouch my share of the expenses. A democracy carries its own voices, some good; some bad. When goals are set and objectives are defined, looking back serves no purpose. All the best to everybody.

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anithagkl
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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Santhosh, it was really great of you sending RTI applications. As you said it will put more pressure on the officials to take action.
Deva anna and Hari anna, thanx for your concern (sharing the load), but I really dont think money will be an issue here because I will end up spending hardly Rs.500 in getting information. If we go and inspect documents personally we wont have to spend much. With RTI we can get the most difficult work done with the least cost. But team work will help. We have to keep pressurising these officials. Just today morning I spoke to Mr.Lahiri (CPIO, Kolkata) regarding my last application for which I did not get a reply.He is a genuine person, he said that he was sorry and that he will reply as soon as possible.
Regarding the FIR's, I think everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. Yes to the outside world these factory owners are defaulters, but the inside story is different. I know of a case where a person got Rs 15 lakh loan, inspite of paying the interest,etc he owes Rs 60 lakh now. This is because of the compound interest the brokers charge which even pawn brokers dont. First of all the tea brokers should not lend money. They lure factory owners with money only to siphon off more. Most manufacturers are not aware of this and get caught into this debt trap. This in turn affects the price of their tea, etc. The growers suffer in the end. It is a vicious cycle.
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gopenath
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Posts: 573

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have been reading all the posts in this forum regarding the tea price. Hats off to Mrs. Anita Gokul for this wonderful piece of work. I could not take part in the discussion as to be frank, I do not have much knowledge and information regarding the things going. But when we need to get united for a purpose, its my duty to place my shares atleast. As Dev anna said, lets share the expenses as far as possible. Please provide the details of sharing.

With Love
Gopenath.

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Department of Developmental Biology and Neurogenetics,
Schnittsphanstrasse 3,
64287 Darmstadt, Germany.
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l_santhosh
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Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Anitha, No big deal my sending RTI appl. when you've done so much!!

I feel putting in money is the easy part...but the difficult part is contributing one's time(which more often than not increases the chances of victory). Moreover, as we might have seen in some cases(funds, NGOs), when we contribute money to a cause, some mis-understanding or the other could creep in because of someone which will end up leaving a bad taste in the mouth of those who are sincere and dedicated.
But sometimes we have to do it. Then, we will have to be extremely careful.
In any case, Anitha has given her comments on it.

I think we should have a meeting to discuss this issue further. There will be more clarity. And we will know exactly what each one of us needs to do. That will make the movement stronger.

Can our elders registered with this website give more inputs please? Jaypee uncle? Dr. Rajkumar? I don't know how old Hari sar is..Dev sar is..
Any young turks out there listening?
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sathu
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Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hats off to Anitha for her persistence. Please count on my full support in the mission financially and morally. Let me share the travails of a Badaga Bought Leaf Factory Owner(BBLFO).
The earliest BBLFOs were promoted by the tea traders themselves. The complex tea marketing rules were formulated by the British in order to have a control over the commerce.The tea production technology was never modernized.The switch over from Orthodox to CTC tea production, saw the mushrooming of the Bought Leaf factories.The entry of Nationalised Banks into financing the factories started in the late eighties.This was time when extensive tea cultivation through VP clonal plants was carried out through out the Nilgiris. A clone with code B/6/61 developed by UPASI was propagated and planted in a massive scale as mono crop. Scientists, warned then, the trend of planting a single variety may lead to massive attacks of pest and diseases. Neither the Horticulture Department nor the Tea Board lent their ears to their voices of protest. Today the entire small tea growing community is suffering.
Quality became casualty with CTC tea. The Nilgiri Orthodox tea was consumed for its flavour while the CTC tea is just a filler material sans flavour and colour.The CTC way of making tea enables adulteration of pure tea with Waste tea which is supposed to be destroyed by burying. The recyled or reconditioned tea RC Tea decade saw the bought leaf factories being set up by all and sundry without any planting background. Result the hapless grower had no say in anything and had to suffer with low price and increased cost of inputs. Import liberalisation resulted in flood of RC tea into Nilgiris and much of what was sold as Nilgiris Tea was more of foreign materials. Tea Board was only watching the things happening.As a commodity board to protect the interest of stake holders,it neither used its teeth to bite nor the throat to bark.
The industry is in ruins.The quality Nilgiris tea is dead and is beyond revival.The bought leaf factories are getting closed in dozens.The INDCO factories dubbed once as symbols of vibrant cooperative movement, are sick and on the verge of bankruptcy due to unprofessional management and undemocratic functioning.The BBLFOs had highly leveraged borrowings with Banks, Brokers and Suppliers. Many of them lack the basic tenets of book keeping and accounting. Short term financial sources have been applied to long term uses thereby defaulting on payment to suppliers. With the credibility questioned, they have lost their credit worthiness. They are plagued by high cost of borrowing from the usurious money lenders(Kandhu Vaddi, Meter Vaddi vareity), Brokers and Banks. They are breaking down.
Today,our community has more stake in growing than in manufacturing.If we want to survive prosper in Tea industry, we have to necessarily switch over to Orthodox Tea making immediately.On a medium term we need to grow Organic Tea and on long term a specialty tea with herbs for health and anti aging.
The rosy future is, the land value is sky rocketing; making many people rich in the process.
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anithagkl
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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanx alot to everyone who have extendend support. As Santhosh has said we have to get together to discuss our strategy, but before that we have to tie up all loose ends. I am still waiting to gather more information so that we can have solid ground to take our case forward. If we meet now I dont think we will have much to discuss other than whats written on the forum.
Meanwhile I got another reply from the Tea Board, Kolkatta for my letter (as posted on March 10th). I had asked whether tea brokers could charge interest for the advance payment made to the tea manufacturers while awaiting prompt. The reply said that charging interest for the advance payment was not a violation as the norms do not specify whether interest can be charged or not. This reply is in complete contrast to the previous reply which said that tea brokers can not lend money. I had asked this question so that there will be no confusion later on.I have prepared another set of questions to the Appealing Authority as I am not satisfied with the answers.

Hari anna, you had said that you know a few lawyers. Could you find out the legal difference between lending and advancing of money. Is there any landmark judgement from the Supreme Court concerning this subject. If there is one, it will surely help us in this case.
Any lawyers on this forum? Please help!

Sathu is correct, tea has a bright future. Green tea is gaining popularity than black tea for its health benefits. If only we can do away with the brokers as in coffee trade, the tea trade will be liberated.
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anithagkl
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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have sent an application to the Appelant Authority as follows:


To
Smt. Roshni Sen, IAS
Deputy Chairman & Appellate Authority,
Tea Board of India,
14, B.T.M. Sarani (Brabourne Road)
Kolkota 700 001.

Madam,
Sub: Filing of appeal under Section 19(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
Ref: 1) My application under RTI Act, 2005 dated 11-02-2008.
2) Secretary & CPIO, Tea Board of Indiaís reply letter No. MISC/LC/2007/1315 dated 27th February 2008.
3) My application under RTI Act, 2005 dated 06-03-2008.
4) Secretary & CPIO, Tea Board of Indiaís reply letter No. MISC/LC/2007/108 dated 17th April 2008.
********
Please find enclosed a Postal Order for Rs.10/- with a request to furnish the following information under Right to Information Act, 2005.

PREAMBLE:

In reply to my application under ref (1), copy of which is enclosed as Annexure-1, the Secretary & CPIO, Tea Board of India under ref (2), enclosed as Annexure-2, has informed that no Tea Brokerage Firms are entitled to lend money to any tea producing company or tea estate in accordance with the clause 21 of the Norms for licensing of Brokers in Public Tea Auctions. He has further informed that Tea Brokerage Firms may make advance payments to tea manufacturers against tea for sale in the relevant Auction Center and/or against sold tea-awaiting payment of prompt in accordance with the clause 21 of the Norms for Licensing of Brokers in Public Tea Auctions.

Vide ref (3), copy of which is enclosed as Annexure-3, it was requested to provide information as to whether Tea Brokerage Firms can charge interest on the advance payments made to tea manufacturers against tea for sale in the relevant auction center and/or against sold tea awaiting payment of prompt in accordance with the clause 21 of the norms for licensing of brokers in public tea auctions.

Vide ref (4), copy of which is enclosed as Annexure-4, the Secretary & CPIO, Tea Board of India has replied that claiming of interest by the Tea Brokerage Firms on advance payments made to tea manufacturers is not a violation of the norm stipulated for broker by Tea Board since such norms do not specify that advance should be interest free.

The reply given by the Secretary & CPIO, Tea Board of India, vide ref (4) is contradictory to the reply given vide ref (2). While vide ref (2), it is mentioned that Tea Brokerage Firms cannot lend money to tea manufacturers as per Clause 21 of the Norms for Licensing of Brokers in Public Tea Auctions; vide ref (4), it is mentioned that claiming of interest by the Tea Brokerage Firms on advance payments made to tea manufacturer is not a violation of the norm stipulated for broker by Tea Board since such norms do not specify that advance should be interest free.

The Tea Board of India is a regulatory body like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). While SEBI does not allow Stock Brokers to advance money and charge interest on Securities and Bonds, the Secretary, Tea Board of India has openly mentioned that claiming of interest by Tea Brokers is not a violation of license norms. It can be inferred that the Secretary, Tea Board of India is aware that Tea Brokers are charging interest from the tea manufacturers. This trade practice is one of the main reasons for huge difference between the auction rate and market rate for tea in India. Thus Tea Board has allowed Tea Brokers to earn by means of both commission and interest. However, in the case of Shares, etc, the buyer and the seller buy and sell shares at the same rates and the Stock Brokers only take commission for the transaction.
The reply given by the Secretary & CPIO, Tea Board of India is misleading and hence this appeal with a request to provide the following information.

APPEAL:

1. If Tea Brokerage Firms are not entitled to lend money to tea manufacturers, but can claim interest on advance payments made to them, please clarify the difference between lending and advance payments in clause 21 of the Norms for Licensing of Brokers in Public Tea Auctions.
2. If the norms do not specify that advances made to the tea manufacturers by the Tea Brokerage Firms should be interest free (as replied by the CPIO vide ref (4)) and the clause 21of the norms clearly specifies that Tea Brokerage Firms cannot lend money to tea manufacturers but can only advance against the tea to be sold in the relevant Auction Center and/or awaiting payment of prompt, why is the Tea Board not interpreting the norm that Tea Brokerage Firms should not charge interest on the advance payments to the tea manufactures?
3. Is Tea Board of India abetting the Tea Brokerage Firms in circumventing the clause 21 of the Norms for Licensing of Brokers in Public Tea Auctions and allowing the Tea Brokerage Firms to extract exorbitant rates of interest from the tea manufacturers?
4. If no, Have Tea Brokerage firms registered under Money Lenderís Act or Pawn Brokers Act. Is the income by way of interest been reflected in the annual turn over of the brokers, while submitting for renewal of their licenses up to 31st December of every year? Does Tea Board of India have the authority to accept the Tea Brokerís income by way of interest, while giving renewal for Tea Brokerís license every year?

These applications submitted under RTI and the replies furnished under the above said references are being keenly watched by thousands of tea growers and tea manufacturers on the Internet who are hoping for some respite. Hence, I humbly request that my appeal may be considered by your kindself in the interest of lakhs of small tea growers who are indirectly affected because of the existing trade relationship between a few Tea Brokerage Firms and a few hundred-tea manufacturers.
Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
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gopenath
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Posts: 573

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dear All,
Well I hope there would be a massive change in the Tea problems while we could see astonishing works being carried out by Mrs.Anita and brother supporters. And at this point of time, its a main responsibility to make our people all around the Nilgiris aware of things going on and try to stop them selling their estates. Already we see a lot of small tea growers keep selling their tea land out of poverty.
It does not sound much in the society, but taking together we see that we keep on loosing estates. We should be aware of " SIRU THULI PERU VELLAM" not only applies for gathering but also for loosing. As Anita mentioned, there are thousands of people who watching the activities through internet. But we need to change these thousands to lakhs. I think it would be better if circulation be done in all villages regarding the things and making people aware............ May be a hefty procedure........... Any suggestions...........

With Love
Gopenath.
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l_santhosh
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Literally, there is a difference between 'lending' and 'paying'. Isn't it?
Lending: www.dictionary.com says 'To provide (money) temporarily on condition that the amount borrowed be returned, usually with an interest fee.' In short, it is called 'kadan'.
Payment, ofcourse is different - The dictionary says 'One's due, reward'.
The person who has sold a product or a service(in this case tea) is entitled to it.

And now there's 'Advance Payment'.
Why is the advance paid(huh...looks like a silly question)? Is it for the benefit of the broker(as they can charge interest) or the manufacturer?

And then there is the 'Interest on Advance Payments'.
Now, the thing that worries me is why, if the interest is so high, should the factories get advance?
Again, who benefits more from it?

As far as I know(I work on ERP), in most(if not all) business processes, if I order for a product(that is due delivery one month hence) and I pay advance towards that delivery, the advance will not earn me any interest.
When that is the case with global businesses, what is the logic in the brokers charging interest for paying advance?
First of all, how can someone agree to this? Absolutely ridiculous.

Let's recall some extracts from Anitha's previous posts.

"The factories give interest free advance to the growers."

..."Based on the receipt from the warehouse, advances are given by the brokers to the factory owners. The advances are generally 75% of the value of the tea that had been sold during the previous sale... This advance is charged at the rate of 18% compound interest every week."

...Clause 21 of the norms for licensing of brokers in public tea auctions is reproduced below:
..." Any Company which is carrying on business as licensed tea brokers will not lend money to any tea producing Company or tea estate, but they may make advance payments against tea for sale in the relevant Auction center and/or against sold tea awaiting payment of Prompt".


Anitha, your inference, that "the Secretary, Tea Board of India is aware that Tea Brokers are charging interest from the tea manufacturers" is incorrect(and irrelevant).
This, you've based on the fact that "the Secretary, Tea Board of India has openly mentioned that claiming of interest by Tea Brokers is not a violation of license norms".
He has only given us a mere information that such a rule does not exist.

But the most important question is under APPEAL.4.
"Is the income by way of interest been reflected in the annual turn over of the brokers.."
If it has, the government, exploiting loopholes, is hand in glove with the brokers.
Otherwise, the brokers are swindling our people's money and livelihood so brazenly.

Either way, we are being exploited!!
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gopenath
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Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 573

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:51 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Dear all,
As Santhosh said, our people are exploited either way.
Mrs. Anitha, my intention is to know what exactly is the fate of nearly 100 factory owners. Because, as per your things we find FIRs submitted only by a few of them. Does it mean that all the other owners are safe or they are not ready to take part against the brokers? Is there any momentum being gathered by these owners?
And I did not understand something. Are the Indco factories run by the government? If yes, do these factories too depend on brokerage? If the Indco factories are run by the government, in what way are they controlled by the brokers? In case of private factories, we accept that the owners borrow a lumpsum money to build and maintain their factories and now they are trapped due to huge interest. How does this apply to Indco factories?
These questions might be irrelevant and silly, but as I do not have much knowledge of what is happening, I just thought of asking. And without reading this forum, people like me who dont have basics on the most important aspect of Nilgiris(TEA) might not have understood the reality.

With Love
Gopenath.
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sathu
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Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am giving a simple definition of Loans and advances out of my Banking knowledge.
A borrowing to create an asset is called a loan.Borrowing against an asset is an Advance.
The asset includes financial assets.Payment Receivable are classified as current assets. A borrowing against the current asset in the instant case is, the sale proceeds of tea which is put on auction.
If the bought leaf factory enjoys an hypothecation limit with Banks, it means advance against the stock of tea has already been availed by the factory from their Bank.Further advances by the Broker means Dual finance. Its like borrowing Rs.2000 on the pledge of Rs.1000 worth jewels.
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