New Delhi: The government is finalising a Rs 100-crore package for stepping up production and exports of tea through a 'Triple five' promotion scheme.
    
"We are putting together a package of close to Rs 100 crore," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia said in an interview.
    
The package would be released over five years with the government contributing 75 percent and the rest coming from the private sector.
    
He said the government was also trying to resolve the problem of exporters in regard to payment from Iran, a major market for Indian tea.
    
Following the imposition of US sanctions, dollar and euro-based transactions with Iran have been stopped, creating difficulties in export transactions.
    
The 'Triple Five' promotion strategy, which the Commerce Ministry is working, would involve five major steps and focus on five countries in five years, Scindia said.
    
India produced 967 million kgs in 2010-11, of which 179 million kgs were exported.
    
While bulk of the global demand is for the orthodox tea, India pre-dominantly produces CTC (Crushed, Tear and Curl) variety.
    
The Indian tea estates suffer from ageing of bushes, labour shortage and lack of mechanisation.
    
The strategy aims at boosting production and export promotion would be in five countries- Kazakhstan, Russia, Egypt, the US and UK, Scindia said.
    
"...in India, we produce maximum CTC, we are trying to produce more orthodox tea," he said adding there is scope for value-added products in the global market.
    
On replantation of bushes, Scindia said the special scheme is in place. "...we are looking at the rate of replantation, rejuvenation and setting specific targets on a year-to-year basis."
    
The government-run Tea Board is conducting a survey of tea estates identifying the areas for rejuvenation and replantation.

(Agencies)