Impose antidumping duty on Nepal: Tea industry

The tea producers in Darjeeling are facing drastic fall in market supply chain due to illegal production of substandard Darjeeling tea by Nepal. The Darjeeling tea is a geographical indication (GI) based product cultivated in West Bengal. It has a strong demand in the global market. A large section of importers are passing on inferior Nepal tea as Darjeeling tea at much lower prices. Some local traders are also re-exporting the Nepal tea to global markets as Darjeeling tea. This is leading to huge financial loss for the Darjeeling tea producers in India.

The Nepal tea has led to a drop in the the global price of Darjeeling tea because of the former’s surplus substandard production with cheaper cost, leading to the disruption of Indian tea export market. The authentic price of Darjeeling tea is around 340 to 400 rupees, whereas the Nepal tea cost less than half of it.

Due to political agitation in 2017, the Darjeeling tea production was disrupted for few years. This resulted in the expansion of Nepal’s tea production. Interestingly, the export of Indian tea attracts 40% import duty in Nepal, while tea imports attract zero. This leads to easy influx of substandard Nepal tea being sold and re-exported as premium Darjeeling tea. This is diluting the global brand image and affecting prices, the parliamentary panel said in its 171st report.

Therefore the producers are urging the government to impose antidumping duty on Nepal tea so that the authenticity of Darjeeling tea and its price is maintained in the global market. 

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