"The Tea Board is looking at establishing a council (each in north and south India) where the members would be tea exporters, producers, traders, warehouse owners and board representatives, Tea Board of India Chairman M.G.V.K. Bhanu told reporters.
Bhanu said the councils would help the board discharge its regulatory functions.
"There will be one council in north India and one in south. These bodies will inspect every export consignment and warehouse facility to see whether they are confirming to the standards specified by the law," he said on the sidelines of annual general meeting of Calcutta Tea Traders Association. The move to facilitate exports while keeping a tab on the quality of the crop sold to overseas buyers came at a time when quality of tea during the first and second flush was hit due to lack of rainfall. There were also a few complaints about certain export consignment.
The chairman of the Tea Board was hopeful that an additional tea warehouse facility of six lakh sq ft would come up in the next six months. "Currently, there is 17 lakh sq ft of warehousing facility in the country. I am hopeful of adding six lakh sq ft to it in the next six months, Bhanu said. Tea Board has also sanctioned a project to the national Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, to carry out toxicological tests for iron filings in tea.
This is likely to help tea traders who face harassments from the prevention of food adulteration authorities.