Tea Board makes changes in conditions for taking over tea estates

Kolkata, April 17 (IANS) The Tea Board of India has revised the parameters for submitting expression of interest for taking over management of six tea gardens controlled by Duncan Industries, lowering the annual turnover and sufficient working capital requirements.

The board had brought a corrigendum on Friday revising the parameters to the expression of interest that it had issued earlier. It has also extended the last date of submission of bids to April 26 and said these will be opened on the same day.

According to the corrigendum notice, the annual turnover of the applicant should not be less than Rs.3.5 crore and the applicant should have sufficient working capital of not less than Rs. 1.5 crore. The original notice allowed applicants with annual turnover of Rs. 5 crore and above with sufficient working capital of not less than Rs.2 crore.

Last month, the board had issued a notification inviting expression of interest (EoI) for taking over the management of six tea estates — Birpara, Garganda, Lankapara, Tulsipara, Huntapara and Dumchipara – all controlled by the company and located in West Bengal.

The latest notice said: “The management so entrusted with the running of garden would not abandon the same without giving sufficient notice, of at least two months to the Tea Board and Monitoring Committee on Management.”

Offers were invited for taking over management of six tea estates individually from interested tea companies-firms/cooperative societies to “run the gardens in a successful manner as per the provisions of various acts and rules applicable to the tea plantations”.

The notice solicited proposals for taking over the management of the six tea estates “who have failed to comply with the obligations under the Tea Act, 1953 as also the relevant provisions in terms of timely payment of workers dues regarding provident fund, gratuity, ration and other fringe benefits/obligatory dues”.

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