SETTING UP 2ND TEA AUCTION CENTRE AT SRIMANGAL
Fresh move draws flakNurul Alam . Chittagong
A fresh move taken for launching a second tea auction centre at Srimongal in Sylhet drew flak while most of the tea traders, brokers and producers took opposite stance amid concern and resentment, officials of tea related bodies said.
The fresh move came as the parliamentary committee on commerce ministry recently asked for setting up the 2nd tea auction centre at Srimongal for holding tea auction there at least once in a month, they informed.
Vice-president of Tea Traders Association of Bangladesh (TTAB) Abdul Hai said, ‘We are very much concerned over such a move for setting up a second tea auction centre at Srimongal which won’t be practical.’
‘It will be almost unfeasible for holding tea auction at Srimongal which lacks required infrastructure for the same,’ he said, adding that such a move caused resentment among most of our tea traders, brokers and producers.
‘We strongly protested the move and placed a note in this regard at a meeting of Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB) held on Wednesday with the stakeholders,’ he said.
As the weekly tea auctions continued to be held in Chittagong traditionally for the last 60 years, all related infrastructures including warehouses, broker houses, port facilities, communication and accommodation for auction participating buyers developed in Chittagong, he pointed out.
‘So most of the traders, brokers, buyers and other related people are reluctant to move to Srimongal for participating in the tea auction if it is held there,’ he said.
A former chairman of Bangladesh tea producers association, seeking anonymity, asked how the traders and buyers would travel to Srimongal for participating in the tea auction as it would be time consuming. Besides, there is acute accommodation problem in Srimongal, he pointed out.
Sources in tea industry hinted that most of the tea traders might boycott the tea auction if it is held at Srimongal unilaterally.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Tea Board (BTB) on Wednesday organised a view exchange meeting with the tea traders, brokers and producers in Chittagong against the backdrop of the fresh move taken for opening a second tea auction centre at Srimongal.
Deputy director (trade) of BTB Nabi Hossain informed that Wednesday’s view exchange meeting took a decision to send a team to Srimongal for feasibility study in the first week of November.
The team members will be drawn from TTAB, tea producers association and BTB, he said.
The decision over the issue of holding tea auction at Srimongal may be taken after the submission of the report by that team, he added.
Vice president of TTAB Abdul Hai told New Age that earlier also a move was taken by the government for holding tea auction at Srimongal, which did not gain proper response in the face of protests from tea traders, producers and brokers.
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