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India to curb tea exports to Pak.

Date: 18-02-2019
Subject: India to curb tea exports to Pak
Kolkata: Indian tea producers have said they are ready to curb exports to Pakistan as part of an economic offence in response to the Pulwama terror attack, for which Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaishe-Mohammed has claimed responsibility. 

“Exports to the neighbouring nation may reduce,” Vivek Goenka, chairman of Indian Tea Association, told ET. “What is more important is to protect our country from this sort of ghastly terror attacks.” He said the industry will look for other destinations like Egypt, Middle East and Russia to export Indian teas. “We will work out a plan on how to channelise our teas to other markets and also increase domestic offtake,” Goenka said. 

In 2018, India had exported 15.83 million kg tea to Pakistan, 7.43 per cent more than the previous year. Pakistan had recorded a massive 35.8 per cent increase in per capita consumption of tea between 2007 and 2016, according the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Currently, Pakistanis consume 172,911 tonnes of black tea and it’s expected to rise to 250,755 tonnes by 2027, as per FAO estimates. India has already withdrawn the ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan following the Pulwama attack as terror groups such as JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba are alleged to have the backing of Pakistani authorities and military establishments. The decision was taken at the Cabinet Committee on Security meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir against the backdrop of the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel on Thursday. 

India had accorded Most Favoured Nation Status to all WTO members, including Pakistan, in accordance with provisions of Article 1 of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , 1994. oenka said mostly South Indian teas are exported to Pakistan. “Nearly 80 per cent of the teas exported to Pakistan is from South India. The rest 20 per cent comprises teas from Assam,” he said. 

Russia is a major market for Indian teas, having bought 45.07 million kg of Indian teas in 2018. Egypt has imported 11.36 million kg of teas in 2018. Iran, too, is a major buyer of Indian tea with its imports touching 30.60 million kg in 2018. Indian tea producers are making a constant effort to penetrate new export markets. 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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