Signs of Improvement in Jalpaiguri Tea Auction

Jairam Ramesh’s visit to the district has started taking effect, as indicated by the sales register of the tea auction centre in Jalpaiguri.

After the Union minister of state for commerce and industries returned to Delhi after a two-day visit to Jalpaiguri and Siliguri earlier this month, the volume of sale recorded on two consecutive Tuesdays (the sale day at the centre) has shown signs of improvement, officials at the centre said.

Ramesh, who had a discussion about the problem of poor inflow of tea to the auction centre, had specifically told the stakeholders if the industry especially, planters of the Dooars, that they should route the roasted tea to the centre.

“After the minister’s visit, the inflow of tea to the auction centre warehouse and its sale have increased substantially,” said Kamal Bhattacharya, the chief executive officer of the Jalpaiguri centre. “Instead of the usual 2,000-3,000 kg that finds its way to the centre, we received 14,598 kg of tea last Tuesday, of which 11,004 kg was sold.” The average price recorded on that date was Rs 60.87.

“We have already received 8,500 kg of tea for the next sale,” Bhattacharya added.
Members of the auction committee also said new sellers, mostly from the Dooars-based estates, have started sending their produce to the centre.

“We are thankful to the minister. His visit has proved fruitful for us,” said N.K. Basu, secretary, North Bengal Tea Auction Committee said. “But, at least six months have to pass before we can say the centre is on its revival path.”

The 20-odd buyers registered with the centre are also of the same view. “After the intervention of the minister more tea is coming to the centre. But still, the warehouses remain unutilised,” said Jyoti Prakash Mitra, secretary, North Bengal Tea Buyers’ Association.

D.P. Roy, the Congress MLA of Jalpaiguri, said the Centre has agreed to set up a tea park near Siliguri to deal with the infrastructure problem of the industry.

Source: The Telegraph