Tea Board chairman P K Bezboruah on Thursday said the statutory body should be more of a promotional and marketing outfit rather than a regulatory one.
Bezboruah, who himself is a planter, said that given the present liberalized scenario, the removal of some sections of the Tea Act of 1953 will have no impact on the ground.
"I think the Tea Board should be more of a promotional and marketing body rather than a promotional one in the present liberalized environment", Bezboruah said in the context of suspension of some sections of the Act by the government.
The Commerce ministry in a notification on August 23, 2021, said that sections 12 to 16, sections 39 and 40 of the Act will remain suspended with immediate effect.
Bezboruah said this implies that permission from the Tea Board will no longer be required for plantation of the crop.
"For the last 30 years, the small tea growers had not taken permission from the Tea Board and they contribute more than 50 per cent of the total production. So this suspension of the sections will have no impact on the ground", he said
Secretary-general of Indian Tea Association (ITA) Arijit Raha said that suspension of the sections will enable expansion of tea areas without any regulation increasing the oversupply situation which is affecting prices already.
"Since this is a suspension, there is scope for reconsideration by the government", he said.
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