West Bengal tea traders welcome India-Pak agreement on tea export

   Apr 14, 6:05 pm

Siliguri, Apr 14 (ANI): Tea traders in West Bengal have welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Pakistan, under which about 50 million kilograms of tea would be exported to the neighbouring country in the next three years.

Tea traders in West Bengal's Siliguri District on Friday said this memorandum would be beneficial for the Indian tea industry and would boost tea export.

"Recently under the MoU signed with the Pakistan Tea Associations, they have agreed to import 50 million kilograms of tea from India. Last year, around 24 million kilograms of tea was exported to Pakistan and now tea exports will increase by 26 million kilograms; the North Bengal tea industry will benefit and will reap profits from this deal," said Ravi Agarwal, a tea trader.

Agarwal added that the increase in exports would also compensate the rising manufacturing costs.

"This is good for the industry as costing in increasing, the labour cost has risen and the taxes levied by the government will also affect the prices of tea. So, the manufacturing cost will increase and we do not have enough exports, then it is not possible for the industry to develop and if Pakistan will import 50 million kilograms of tea, then it will be good for our industry," added Agarwal.

The tea traders, however, noted that exports also depend on the diplomatic relations between the two countries and if the relations remain in good terms, the trade would also prosper.

"Pakistan is very much favoured towards Indian tea, as their consumption is too high but they mostly import tea from Kenya and other counties. It's not just about the price and quality, the export import business also depends on the diplomatic and political relations between two countries," said Kamal Kumar Tiwari, another tea trader.

Pakistan is the third largest tea importer and is expected to import tea from south India to meet its rising domestic requirement.

India is one of the major producers and exporters of tea in the world market.

The tea production in India for the year 2010 is 960 million kilograms, out of which, south India alone produced 240 million kilograms. (ANI)

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