RELIEF TO COFFEE GROWERS
Date : 05 Jul 2004
Location : New Delhi
In order to provide relief to coffee growers, who are facing problems arising from the present low prices of coffee, the Coffee Board continued implementation of an interest relief scheme during the year 2003-04, under which 5% interest subsidy was provided to small coffee growers on their working capital loans taken by them from financial institutions. Under this scheme, interest subsidy amounting to Rs. 6.90 crores was provided to the small coffee growers during the year 2003-04. This was stated by Shri E.V.K.S. Elangovan, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.
In response to another related question, he said both the Commodity Boards for tea and coffee are implementing various schemes for increasing the productivity and providing support to growers of tea and coffee respectively.
The Coffee Board is implementing a medium-term export strategy to sustain and gain market share in the key markets and also to improve the competitiveness of Indian coffee in global markets over the next few years.
As far as tea is concerned, a package of Special Tea Term Loan (STTL) has been announced recently which envisages restructuring/rephasing of outstanding term/working capital loans in the tea sector with repayment over 5 to 7 years and a moratorium of 1 year. The STTL also provides for working capital upto Rs. 2 lakhs at a rate not exceeding 9% to small growers. The government has issued orders regarding implementation of a Price Subsidy Scheme for small tea growers for a period of four months from February to May 2004. Tea Board is also implementing a price sharing formula between small tea growers and manufacturers of made tea w.e.f. 1.4.2004. A special fund has also been set up out of collections by way of additional duty of excise of Re. 1 per kg. on tea for the development, modernisation and rehabilitation of tea plantation sector.