The Government’s decision to buy tea from the auctions has come under severe criticism from exporters who alleged that the decision was haphazardly made without consulting the stakeholders.
The Ministry of Plantation Industries last week had requested the Treasury to allocate Rs.1 billion in order to purchase tea from the auctions as a move to contain the situation which had affected the tea industry.
However, Chairman, Tea Exporters’ Association of Sri Lanka (TEA) when contacted by The Nation Gain alleged that the government had not consulted them when coming to such a decision.
“There are several aspects that need to be looked into before reaching such a decision. How much are they going to buy? For how long? How are they going to store them?” Fernando said.
“If the move is to keep the prices artificially high, then it is not a good move. We are in the dark as far as this situation is concerned,” he added.
He pointed out that there was adequate supply of tea in the world market and prices had also gone down. “If we keep our prices high, then we might lose our markets too. We need a proper strategy to address the decision,” Fernando said.