The Indian Tea Board and the Colombo Tea Auction Centre have agreed to collaborate for the introduction and successful implementation of electronic tea auction.
According to Mr Basudeb Banerjee, Chairman of the Tea Board, the Sri Lankan tea industry has initiated the process of introducing electronic tea auction.
The Colombo auction centre is taking inputs from an organisation closely attached with the New York Stock Exchange. It might be noted that the Tea Board has appointed NSE.IT, the software development wing of the National Stock Exchange, for preparing a brand new trading platform for the six domestic auction centres.
"The Sri Lankan tea industry is introducing e-auction with some assistance from the Asian Development Bank. At present, we are partly ahead of the Sri Lankans in terms of electronic auctions but both of us have agreed to collaborate on this matter," Mr Banerjee said. He was talking to reporters after addressing members of the Tea Auction Buyers Association of Calcutta (TABAC) at the recent annual general meeting.
"We must all understand that the purpose of bringing electronic auction is to bring in more transparency, better price and reduction in transaction costs," he said. Mr Banerjee sought help and inputs from the TABAC members for improving exports initiatives of the Tea Board in some key markets. "We need these inputs because it would also help us in working out the incentive package," he said.
Mr Gopal Poddar, President of TABAC, in his address, spoke about the controversial increase in the buying brokerage. He said that sections of the buying community are still upset with the Tea Boards decision. Reacting to it, Mr Banerjee said that the Tea Board was open to views of all the buyers and might make necessary changes in the brokerage rates, if needed.