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RTI ACT

In order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of any Public Authority by securing access to information, Parliament enacted the Right to Information, 2005 . The act was notified in gazette of India extra ordinary on 21 st June, 2005.

The Tea Board, India is a Public Authority as defined under the act. The citizens may obtain information under the provision of the act in respect any of the subject(s) / matters regarding Tea Board as noted below on payment on prescribed fees.
 
TEA BOARD INFORMATION MANUAL
Published as per provisions of Section 4 of the Right to Information Act 2005)
   
1.
The particulars of the organisation, its functions and duties;
2.
Power and duties of its officers and employees;
3.
The procedure followed in its decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability;
4.
The norms set out by it for the discharge of its functions;
5.
Information regarding the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records used by its employees for the discharge of its functions;
6.
A Statement Of The Categories Of The Documents Hold By It Or Under Its Control;
7.
Information Regarding Any Arrangement That Exists For Consultation Or Representation By Member Of The Public, In Relation To The Formulation Of Policy And Implementation;
8.
Advice Given By the Boards, Councils, Committees And Other Bodies Consisting Of Two Or More Persons. Additional Information As To Whether The Meetings Of These Are Open To The Public Or The Minutes Of Such Meetings Are Accessible To The Public;
9.
A Directory Of Its Officers And Employees;
10.
The Monthly Remuneration Received By Each Of Its Officers And Employees, Including The System Of Compensation As Provided In Its Regulations;
11.
The Budget Alloted To Each Of Its Agency Indicating The Particulars Of All Plans, Proposed Expenditure And Reports On Disbursement Made;
12.
Details Of The Expenditure Of Subsidy Programmes, Including The Amounts Allocated And The Details And Beneficiaries Of Such Programme;
13.
Particulars Of Receipients Of Concessions, Permits Or Authorisations Granted By It;
14.
Details Of Information Available To Or Held By It, Reduced In An Electronic Form;
15.
The Particulars Of Facilities Available To Citizens For Obtaining Information, Including The Working Hours Of A Library Or Reading Room Of Maintained For Public Use;
16.
The Names, Designation And Other Particulars Of The Public Information Officers;
17.
Such Information As May Be Prescribed.
The Particulars Of The Organisation, Its Functions And Duties

Tea is one of the industries, which by an Act of Parliament comes under the control of the Union Government. The genesis of the Tea Board in India dates back to 1903 when the Indian Tea Cess Bill was passed. The Bill provided for levying a cess on tea exports – the proceeds of which were to be used for the promotion of Indian tea both within and outside India. The present Tea Board set up under section 4 of the Tea Act, 1953 was constituted on 1st April, 1954. It succeeded the Central Tea Board and the Indian Tea Licensing Committee which functioned respectively under the Central Tea Board Act, 1949 and the Indian Tea Control Act, 1938 which were repealed. The activities of the two previous bodies were confined largely too regulation of tea cultivation and export of tea as required by the international Tea Agreement then in force, and promotion of tea consumption.

 

The Tea Board is functioning as a statutory body of the Central Government under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry The Board is constituted with 31 members (including Chairman) drawn from Members of Parliament, tea producers, tea traders, tea brokers, consumers and representatives of State Governments from the principal tea producing states and trade union leaders as enumerated below :

 

• Three persons representing Parliament.
• Eight persons representing owners of tea estates and gardens and growers of tea
• Six persons representing the Government of the principal tea growing states namely, Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh.
• Five persons representing persons employed in tea estates and gardens.
• Two persons representing dealers including both exporters and internal traders of tea.
• Two persons representing manufactures of tea
• Two persons representing consumers.
• Two persons representing other interests.
The Board is constituted on financial year basis every three years.
The functions of the Board are defined in the Tea Act. The focus of the Board is directed towards development of the tea industry and trade especially in the sphere of production, extension of area under tea cultivation. Improvement in the quality of tea, promotion of co-operative efforts of growers, and research and development efforts in tea, undertaking promotional campaigns for increasing export of tea and regulatory functions such as issuance of Exporter’s Licence, Tea Waste Licence, Tea Warehousing Licence, etc. Tea Board also plays a major role in the collection of tea statistics and in the adoption of a few welfare measures for workers of tea gardens which are not covered under statutory provisions such as the Plantation Labour Act, 1951. The functions of the Tea Board are outlined in Section 10 of the Tea Act.
The functional activities of the Board performed by various departments of the Head Office are as follows :
• Secretariat, Establishment and other Administrative work and Co-ordination of the activities of various departments of the Board’s Office and also with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India are directly under the charge of the Secretary.
• The Development, including the administration of the Financial Assistance Scheme and Assistance to the Industry for procurement, distribution and movement of essential input is under the charge of the Director of Tea Development.
• Finance including accounts and internal audit is under the charge of Financial Adviser and Chief Accounts Officer.
•Research both agricultural and industrial, is under the charge of the Director of Research.
• Regulation of production and export including issue of Export Licence and implementation of the Tea Waste (Control) Order are under the charge of the Controller of Licensing.
• Marketing including promotion of tea in India and abroad is under the charge of the Director of Tea Promotion (HQ).
• Labour Welfare is under the Charge of Welfare Liaison Officer, North.
• Collection of Statistics including cost studies is under the charge of the Statistician.
• Legal matters arising in various functional departments mentioned above are handled by the Law Consultant.
• Implementation of the provisions of Official Language Act and various measures in this respect are handled by the Deputy Director (Hindi).
 
 
Power And Duties Of Its Officers And Employees
The Chairman, the Deputy Chairman and the Secretary of the Tea Board may exercise financial/administrative power in terms of the provisions contained in Tea Act, Tea Rules and Tea Board By Laws. Chairman, being the head of the institution and also the ex-officio Chairman of the Board and other standing committees, holds wider powers as compared to other subordinate officers working in the Tea Board. Tea Board, with its head office at Kolkata, has several regional and sub regional offices in the tea growing regions of the country for undertaking developmental work. Not only that, Tea Board has its offices abroad as well to undertake promotional work.
In order to run the day-to-day administration of the offices smoothly, effectively and efficiently, it has been felt necessary to distribute administrative/financial powers to various regional, sub regional and overseas offices depending on the status of the officers manning the office and requirements of the particular office in question including developmental and promotional work. Chairman also delegates power when such delegation of power is available in the Tea Act, Tea Rules and By laws. To that effect various orders are issued by the Board from time to time for implementation by the officers in question.
Notwithstanding any thing contained above, various control orders like the Tea (Distribution and Export) Control order, Tea Waste (Control) order, Tea Warehouses (Licensing) Order and the Tea (marketing) Control order are issued by the govt. of India, in terms of relevant Section of the Tea Act. Under the said orders, Chairman is licensing/registering Authority. Without the prior approval of the Govt. of India, and that too reflected in the control orders no body other than Chairman can be the Licensing/Registering Authority. Chairman, in exercise of the powers conferred on him authorizes any officials of the Tea Board to draw samples, cause inspection, seal and seize tea. Depending on the requirement of the tea industry and trade and also for smooth
running of the board efficiently the provisions of various orders as stated above are amended from time to time.
In terms of sections 31(2) of the Tea Act, Tea Board shall carry out such directives as may be issued to it from time to time by the Central Government for efficient administration of the Tea Act.
 
 
The Procedure Followed In Its Decision Making Process, Including Channels of Supervision And Accountability;
The procedure followed in decision making process in Tea Board is classified broadly into four categories, namely (i) issues relating to establishment/staff matters (ii) issues concerning regulatory measures (iii) issues covering developmental and promotional oriented and (iv) issues in respect of financial matters.
As for issue (i) is concerned, it may be stated that Tea Board has its own Recruitment and promotion rules. These rules along with the rules and orders issued by the Govt. of India from time to time are followed appropriately. Promotion and recruitment to certain posts sanctioned by Govt. of officer’s cadre require approval of the Executive Committee and Board of the Tea Board. Relevant orders of the Govt. of India
in respect of reservation of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, physically handicapped person, OBC are followed as well in Tea Board. However, for certain senior posts like Chairman, Dy. Chairman, Executive Directors, Secretary, Financial Adviser & Chief Accounts Officer, Director of Tea Development, Directors of Tea Promotion, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India, being the administrative Ministry of Tea Board, is the appointing authority. These posts, are filled up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry taking into consideration various related factors including the Govt. of India’s notifications and directives issued in this regard from time to time.
Issues concerning regulatory measures by and large refer to Tea (Distribution & Export) Control Order, 2005 Tea (Waste) Control Order, Tea (Warehousing) Order and Tea (Marketing) Control Order. All these orders were issued by the Govt. of India in terms of relevant sections of Tea Act, 1953. These orders are modified/amended as and
when needed to suit the best needs of the Tea Industry in India. The concerned Deptt of Tea Board (Licensing Deptt) is implementing the various provisions of these orders. This apart, Export/Import Policy announced by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry is also implemented by the above noted Deptt. in so far as provisions for tea are concerned.
As far issues relating to Development and Promotion oriented matters, it may be pointed out that these two Deptts., particularly Development Deptt., is the livewire of the Institution. Development Deptt. monitors the various schemes concerning the tea development in respect of improvement in production in terms of quantity and quality too both for big growers and small growers sectors. These schemes are formulated by the Development Directorate in consultation with Executive Directors located in North-East and South India as well as Producers’ Associations in North India and South India. Once the scheme in terms of concerned policy is drafted out, it needs the final approval of Chairman, after which the scheme proposed to be placed to Development Committee of the Board for approval or otherwise. Once it is approved, it is conveyed to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry for final clearance before its implementation by the said Directorate of Tea Board, through its offices located in various tea growing regions of the country. All these schemes are funded by the Plan Budget as sanctioned by the Planning Commission of the Govt. of India. It may not be out of place to mention that no development, can effectively take place without any Research in this regard. Tea Board has Research Directorate to undertake liaison job with research institutions in North-India (TRA) and South India (UPASI). These tea research institutions are funded by Tea Board from Plan Budget in terms of funding formula as agreed to between Tea Board and Research Institutes, and approved by Ministry of Commerce. This apart, Tea Board has its own Research Centre in Darjeeling (Darjeeling Tea Research and Development Centre – DTR& DC), especially set up to look after the specific interests of Darjeeling Tea Industry. Various research programmes are formulated by Research Directorate for DTRC. Not only that various research institutions including Universities are also funded by Tea Board where Directorate of Tea Research has a prominent role to play. Research proposals of these institutes are placed before Ad-hoc Tea Research Committee with eminent scientists as its members for approval of the proposal or otherwise including the modification of the proposal and even extension of the existing research projects, if so needed. The schemes require approval of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry before its implementation. Progress of the schemes is maintained by the Directorate of Research as well as by Ad-hoc Tea Research Committee so that progress of the research projects is assessed and accountability of the beneficiaries is ensured.
As far promotional oriented schemes are concerned, it may be stated that the procedure is almost same as that of Developmental and research oriented schemes as outlined above. In the case of promotional schemes, the proposed schemes require approval of Export Promotion Committee/Board and thereafter of the Ministry of Commerce before its implementation by Directorate of Tea Promotion in Tea Board at Kolkata as well as by its overseas offices in London, Dubai, Moscow and New York. This apart with the approval of Export Promotion Committee, Board and also Ministry of Commerce, the Directorate of Tea Promotion in India and abroad participate in various Fairs and Exhibitions with particular emphasis on liquid tea sampling, display of promotional posters and distribution of promotional literatures etc., so as to popularize Indian tea amongst foreign buyers. “Buyers-sellers meet” is another instrument of the Promotion Directorate to increase the global share of Indian export. To explore the new markets is also being done on regular basis through Buyer-Seller meet, participation in Fairs & Exhibitions and by sending tea delegation from India. The entire promotional expenditure is funded by budget under Market Development & Export Promotion (MDEP) which contains the foreign exchange component. The assessment of the progress of various schemes is done by Promotion Directorate and Export Promotion Committee. The help of external experts is also taken for formulation of strategic programmes to improve the export of tea both in short term and long term.
In so far as issues relating to financial matters are concerned, it is pertinent to note that as per Section 25 and 26 of Tea Act the proceeds of cess levied on all black teas made in the country at a specified rates and collected by Central Excise Department get credited to the Consolidated Fund of India and Central Government as deemed necessary provide non-plans funds to the Board under Annual Budget of Ministry of Commerce to defray the administrative expenses like salary, pension, rent and taxes, traveling expends, other expenditure on maintenance of building etc. The other sources of income of Board are grants, subsidy and loan released to by the Government of India under Section 26A of said Act. The Board has also some other minor sources of revenue such as fees on licenses, interest on loans and advances and miscellaneous receipts such as sales of liquid tea, sale of green leaves and sale of publications etc.
Thus all funds available to the Board under Section 26 and 26A of the Tea Act are routed through the medium of the Annual Union Budget. Such funds are then applied to the functions of Board as enshrined in Section 10 of the Tea Act. The utilization certificates for funds so released by Government are regularly forwarded to Government. Tea Board has a Finance Department to supervise and monitor the expenditure. This Department is also accountable to prepare the Annual Accounts of the Board. The Annual Accounts of the Board are submitted to C & AG audit after adoption by the Executive Committee marinating the deadline of submitting the accounts by 30th June as prescribed by the Government. The said accounts tthen audited by audit team of C &
AG. On receipt of the audit certificate on the accounts the same is placed before the Board for its approval. Thereafter, the audited Accounts are sent to Ministry for laying in both the houses of Parliament.
The Budget papers are also placed to the Board for approval before sending it to Ministry of Commerce for final approval and allocation thereof. section of Tea Act/Tea Rules/By-laws. The amount of collection from cess is deposited to consolidated fund of India. This apart, budgetary allocation is also made by Planning Commission of Govt. of India, for the purpose as explained earlier.
Assessment of expenditure vis-à-vis receipt is made by the Govt. of India for which utilization certificates are forwarded by Tea Board on regular intervals so as to obtain further instalment of fund from Govt. of India. Tea Board has a Directorate of Finance to supervise and monitor the expenditure, including closing of Accounts by the end of June of each year. The un-audited account so closed requires adoption by the Executive Committee after which the said accounts are sent to CAG for observation. CAG thereafter send the audited accounts to Tea Board within a specified period for its approval by the Board. At the same the budget papers are also placed to the Board for approval, before sending it to Ministry of Commerce for final approval and allocation
thereof.
The aforesaid narration provides a fair idea about procedure adopted by Tea Board in decision making process including channel of supervision and accountability.
 
 
The Norms Set Out By It For The Discharge Of Its Functions
The various functions of the Tea Board have already been outlined in Section 10 of Tea Act, 1953, as enumerated under item (1) of the Manual. In order to discharge its various functions, Tea Rules and Tea By-laws are framed by the Govt. of India. The provisions in the various Rules and By-Laws are the basic guide lines for all to discharge the various functions . In addition to that various Govt. Order issued from time to time in terms of
particular clause of the section 10 of the Act are also to be complied with. Not only that Central Govt. service conduct rules and any other rules in force in this regard are to be complied with by the administration so as to ensure that Tea Board’s various financial activities do not deviate from Govt.’s policy decisions. The provisions in the Tea Rules / By-laws etc. are outlined below under point (5) of the “Tea Board Information Manual” in terms of section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
 
 
Information Regarding The Rules, Regulations, Instructions, Manuals And Records Used By Its Employees For The Discharge Of Its Functions
The details as contained in the Tea Act, 1953, Tea Rules, 1954 and Tea Board By-Laws 1955, Tea (distribution and Export) Control order, The Tea Waste (Control) Order, etc. are available Board Website.
 
 
A Statement Of The Categories Of The Documents Hold By It Or Under Its Control
Tea Board has already have the following documents published annually/periodically as the case may be :
a) Tea Board Manual
b) Tea Statistics and Tea Digest
c) Annual Report
d) Tea Directory
e) Tea File
f) Tea Map
g) Booklet on three logo’s of Tea
h) Promotional Posters & other promotional literature
i) Booklet on various developmental schemes run by Tea Board
j) Techno-Economic Survey in various tea growing regions in India
k) Booklet on Green Tea
l) Administrative report of National Tea Research Foundation. Apart from this, Tea Board has a library having books concerning Tea and other tea related subjects for use by its employees and other Research workers on tea.
 
 
Information Regarding Any Arrangement That Exists For Consultation or Representation By Member of The Public, In Relation To The Formulation of Policy And Implementation
Tea Board as and when needed holds discussion with the representatives of Tea Industry and Trade which is now in the hands of Private Sector. Such discussion is felt necessary especially at the time of formulation of certain policy and planning including implementation. Though no time and periodicity has been fixed for such discussions, it almost becomes a routine matter to discuss the issues pertaining to the tea industry and trade to sort out the problems, if any and advise perspectively to grow further.
 
 
Advice Given By the Boards, Councils, Committees And Other Bodies Consisting Of Two Or More Persons. Additional Information As To Whether The Meetings Of These Are Open To The Public Or The Minutes Of Such Meetings Are Accessible To The Public
The Board of Tea Board consists of 31 members including Chairman, Tea Board. Board Members are appointed by Govt. of India through appropriate Gazette Notifications. The tenure of the Board, once formed, is generally valid for three years on financial year basis. The Board covers members from various sections of Tea Industry –
Producers’ Associations, Exporters’ Associations, State Govt. representatives of important tea growing regions, Labour representatives from Labour Unions, and other interests like consumers, research etc. Board should meet at least once in three months in a year. Various Statutory Committees like Executive Committee, Export Promotion Committee, Labour Welfare Committee, and Development Committee are formed from amongst the Board Members. Chairman, Tea Board is the ex-officio Chairman of all the Committees. Vice-Chairman is elected from among Board Members on annual basis. Ad-hoc Research Liaison Committee is also formed having members from the Board as well as eminent Scientists from outside. The functions of the Committees are enumerated in the Tea Rules. All the decisions of the Committees are to be approved by the Board.
The minutes are prepared separately for each Committee based on the proposals approved by the Committee. Similarly, the minutes of the Board are prepared based on the approval of various agenda by the committees. The minutes of the Committees are circulated to all Committee members concerning the Committee, while the minutes of the Board are circulated to all members of the Board including the Committee Members.
Once the approved minutes are received, the extracts are taken for necessary action by the concerned Departments of the Board. Neither the minutes nor the extracts are open to the public, except those where decisions are to be informed to the concerned Tea Associations for information and required action at their end. Non-disclosure of the information contained in the minutes is possibly due to apprehension for its misuse which
may cause damage to the Indian tea industry and trade as well as institution in question.
 
 
A Directory Of Its Officers And Employees
 
 
The Monthly Remuneration Received By Each Of Its Officers And Employees, Including The System Of Compensation As Provided In Its Regulations
A statement showing the names of the Officers, employees and monthly remuneration received by each of the officers and employees of the Board is enclosed. As per compensation package Board’s Officers and employees are eligible for retirement benefits at the time of superannuation attaining the age of 60 years etc. as applicable to the Central Govt. Employees. By and laws, the Board’s employees are entitled to similar facilities/compensation as enjoyed by the Central Govt. employees. Monthly Remuneration.
 
 
The Budget Alloted To Each Of Its Agency Indicating The Particulars Of All Plans, Proposed Expenditure And Reports On Disbursement Made
The Board prepares the Budget Estimates and Revised Estimates in respect of Plan Schemes and Non-Plan funds scheme-wise and head-wise and send to the Government for approval. On the basis of the Budget allotment and funds released by Government the expenditure is met. It may be mentioned that monthly progress report i.e. disbursement made in respect of Plan schemes and Non-plan funds is regularly sent to Ministry of Commerce. The following Books are enclosed in the regard :
Annual accounts
 
 
Detailas Of The Expenditure Of Subsidy Programmes, Including The Amounts Allocated And The Details And Beneficiaries Of Such Programme
 
 
Particulars Of Receipients Of Concessions, Permits Or Authorisations Granted By It
Tea Board had issued permit for extension and replacement planting of tea to the existing tea estates as well as to the new comers. Such permits are issued within the frame work of the Tea Act and Tea Rules. During the year 2003-2004; 16 tea estates are the recipients for extension permit covering an area of about 810 hectares on an All India basis while the figure for replacement permit we

 

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