38% small tea growers operated unregistered, beyond Tea Board oversight as of March 2021

The CAG found lapses on the part of the tea board in monitoring tea production to confirm that brews of standard quality are produced

   
small tea growers total tea production India

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its audit report on the ‘Role of Tea Board’ in the development of tea has recommended that the board should build a well-defined strategy for identification of all the small tea growers and should maintain a database for extending developmental assistance and regulatory control.

The report revealed that small tea growers contributed towards more than 50 per cent of total tea production in 2020-21.

“However, in absence of a well-defined strategy for identification and registration of the small tea growers, 38 per cent of small tea growers were not registered as of March 2021 and were out of the ambit of Tea Board’s regulatory activities and development assistance,” it stated.

The report also says that similarly, 119 out of 1,573 big tea growers were not registered as of March 2021.

The Tea Board of India was established on April 1, 1954, as per the provisions of Section 4 of the Tea Act, 1953.

The board is assigned with the overall development of the tea industry in India and is functioning under the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The CAG also found lapses on the part of the tea board in monitoring tea production to confirm that brews of standard quality are produced.

“Under the Tea Act, the board is authorised to inspect the quality of tea. However, factories were not adequately inspected in the five financial years,” the CAG report reads.

The report also revealed that the shortfall of inspection ranged between 78.62 per cent and 91.95 per cent which showed poor monitoring on the part of the tea board.

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