In the wake of the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Tea Association (ITA), the apex body of tea planters, today said it was ready to suspend trade with Pakistan if the government wished so.
“ITA is ready to suspend tea trade with Pakistan if asked by the government particularly in the wake of terror attacks in Kashmir,” ITA chairman Azam Menom told PTI.
He said that “Pakistan is a fair weather friend as far as tea is concerned. Suspending trade with Pakistan will not have much impact in terms of exports.
“I think the Tea Board will guide us in this regard,” Menom said.
Out of 230 million kg of tea exports, Pakistan accounted for only 15 to 18 million kg.
“Pakistan generally buys from Sri Lanka and Kenya. They buy from India when the prices are cheaper here,” he added.
The ITA chairman said 80 per cent of tea imported by Pakistan was of the south Indian variety. The balance 20 per cent is sourced from north India, he added.
India’s thrust export markets were Russia, Kazakhstan, the US, China, Iran, Egypt and Latin America.
Menom, who is also the chairman of CCPA by virtue of holding the same chair in ITA, said his advice to the United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI), if needed, would hold ground.
UPASI is the central body of tea growers of South India.