The Darjeeling Tea Association (DTA) has appointed a chartered accountant firm to assess the crop loss in absolute and value terms in view of the indefinite shutdown in the hills. “We have not been able to submit any proposal to the Tea Board as asked. So we have asked a CA firm to assist in preparing financial data regarding the loss of crop in value and actual terms”, Chairman of DTA Binod Mohan told PTI. Earlier, when DTA approached the Tea Board seeking packages for the entire loss of premium second-flush crop due to the indefinite shutdown called by GJM, the government agency had asked the association to prepare a draft proposal and submit it. Since the deadline for submission of the draft proposal has expired, Mohan said that the association would now be in a position to submit it before the board by next week.
Mohan said that the government had done away with any form of subsidies and any assistance would have to be sought under the existing schemes of Tea Board which gives subsidies and loans to the planters. Tea Board deputy Chairman Santosh Sarangi said that since the resource allocation for the current fiscal was over, any additional assistance would require the commerce ministry’s approval. Since the start of the agitation, plantation at the 87-odd tea gardens of Darjeeling had halted during the second flush season, which generally commands high premium the export market. “Even the monsoon flush appears to have gone which would continue till the middle of August,” he said.