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Darjeeling planters seek anti-dumping duty on Nepal tea.


Date: 30-08-2022
Subject: Darjeeling planters seek anti-dumping duty on Nepal tea
Darjeeling tea producers have urged the government to impose anti-dumping duty on tea originating from Nepal, claiming that several traders are selling the cheaper Nepalese variety to unsuspecting consumers as genuine Darjeeling tea, which is slowing the recovery of their business.

Planters of Darjeeling tea allege that several tea importers are passing on Nepalese tea as Darjeeling tea at much lower prices, causing huge losses to the tea estates in West Bengal's Darjeeling district. Some are also allegedly selling blends of the two teas as the world-famous Darjeeling variety.
 
Darjeeling tea is India's geographical indication-tagged product. It is also alleged that some local traders are exporting Nepal tea as Darjeeling tea, driving down prices of the premium authentic Darjeeling tea in the global market.

"We have made a representation to the commerce minister to immediately take up the issue of Nepal tea and impose an anti-dumping duty to protect Darjeeling tea trade," Sandeep Mukherjee, principal advisor to the Darjeeling Tea Association, told ET.

Tea originating from Nepal can be freely imported in India under the free trade agreement between the two countries.

According to traders, while Darjeeling tea costs Rs 340-400 per kg at the auctions, the orthodox variety of Nepalese tea is available for less than half that price.

The problem has slowed the recovery of the Darjeeling tea industry from the crisis of 2017, when the tea gardens were shut for months due to political agitation. "The four-month-long closure of the gardens in 2017 due to agitation in the hills had impacted the Darjeeling tea industry in a massive way. We are still bearing the brunt of that closure," said Anshuman Kanoria, chairman of Indian Tea Exporters Association. "Non-availability of Darjeeling tea during that period paved the way for Nepal  ..

He said it is difficult for tea drinkers to differentiate between Darjeeling tea and Nepal tea.

Kanoria said that although the first flush and second flush of Darjeeling teas have found buyers this year, it has become difficult for the trade to find buyers for the rains or monsoon teas.

Monsoon teas account for nearly 60% of Darjeeling's production, which dwindled to 6.7 million kg last year from 11 million kg a decade ago. "Nepal tea is destroying the Darjeeling tea industry and it is high time that the government took some steps right away. Otherwise, the survival of the Darjeeling tea industry will be difficult," Kanoria said.
 
 Source Name:-Economic Times
 
 
 
 

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