Refuse tea exporters disgrace country, says minister
* Extensive raids soon to weed out unscrupulous exportersJuly 9, 2012, 9:02 pm
By Don Asoka Wijewardena
Plantation Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said that extensive raids would be conducted to nab the unscrupulous exporters of refuse tea. The export of the refuse tea had tarnished the image of the country. He would submit a Cabinet paper to establish refuse tea auction centres in the country soon.
Tea auction centres were abolished a few years ago in Sri Lanka. But to save the country’s image he would seek direct government intervention to compel exporters to sell their low quality tea in the country, he told a Media Conference held at the Ministry’s auditorium on July 9.
Minister Samarsinghe said that the Plantation Ministry with assistance of the Sri Lanka Tea Board would intensify sudden raids on tea exporters who were nabbed on the verge of massive export racket of the refuse tea. "What happens is that some exporters extract more than 10 per cent of the low quality tea and try to sell them to other countries. What they are doing is a disgrace to the country. Sri Lanka is famous for pure Ceylon tea. I have decided to stop that practice by introducing tea auction centres,"Minister Samarasinghe stressed.
Plantation Ministry Ms. Sudhrama Karunaratne said that the National Plantation Awards ceremony would be held on July 12 at the Temple Trees. President Mahinda Rajapaksa would confer the awards. The Ministry had selected large, medium and small-scale tea growers and provincial plantation companies for the awards. Sri Lanka had been producing 150,000 metric tons of rubber requirements, but the production was not adequate to meet the demand. The award ceremony would encourage rubber cultivators to cultivate more rubber.
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Last Updated May 24 2013 | 07:02 pm