The tea industry has urged the government to introduce schemes to help boost tea exports from India. The industry is seeking financial support to set up tea lounges to promote tea drinking in the country. Through the upcoming Budget, they want the Tea Board to act as a facilitator for optimizing the development, promotion and research.
Madhav Sarda, the managing director of Golden Tips Tea, said the Tea Board has always done away with subsidizing exporters’ participation in overseas expos. “This was a very important component to locate new markets and buyers for Indian teas and should be re-introduced to promote exports through which the government can enhance foreign exchange earnings,” he said. “We expect this Union Budget to address this so that homegrown tea brands can expand their footprint internationally, and get recognition for delivering the best quality gourmet teas to customers globally.”
Sadar said Indian tea exports has declined by 9% in the first ten months of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020. It is unlikely to cross 200 million kg in 2021. As such, he believes retailing of premium tea through specialized tea boutiques should be encouraged.
“It should be financially supported by the Tea Board as this popularizes the concept of drinking specialty teas in the country. This will not only encourage people to imbibe a healthy lifestyle, but will surely help the tea industry in these troubled times of production loss owing to climate change and other factors, especially in Darjeeling,” he said.
Srinvas Ganadinni, founder and CEO of The Tea Planet, said the industry is looking forward to the proposed Tea Promotion and Development Act of 2022 in the coming year as the Tea Act, 1953 has lost relevance in today’s context. “The Budget should introduce new objectives so that the tea board can act as a facilitator for optimizing the development, promotion and research in the tea industry.”
Ganadinni believes Indian tea has a large demand in export markets, but India is still ranked fourth in the industry. “Hopefully, this budget will make it easier to promote Indian teas on the global market through international trade shows by providing trade fair subsidiary schemes to large, medium and small scale industries that are currently exporting,” he said. “This will invariably help build a resilient ecosystem for these sectors that will bolster our overall growth. Additionally, industries that are into the second line of packaging and contributing to value addition to the tea industry should be encouraged and subsidies should be given to enable infrastructure upgrades that will encourage exports to world markets.”