The maximum retail price of Ooty tea being sold through fair price shops has been increased by Rs. 20 a kg.

Till now, the price of this category of tea, which belongs to the dust grade, was Rs. 130 a kg. It has been increased to Rs. 150, according to a government order issued on Tuesday.

The selling price of Ooty tea, supplied by the Tamil Nadu Small Tea Growers Industrial Cooperative Tea Factories’ Federation Limited (INDCOSERVE) to the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) or cooperative societies, has been enhanced from Rs. 115 to Rs. 130 a kg.

The figures of both MRP and the selling price are inclusive of Value Added Tax.

The revision in the prices follows a discussion on the matter by a high-level committee in April. The panel, constituted by the State Government in November 2011, is meant for discussion of various issues, including the price of Ooty tea.

Issued by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Department, the order has stated that the margin of Rs. 20 per kg will be shared in such a way that the INDCOSERVE will get Rs. 15 and the TNCSC or cooperative societies, the remaining Rs. 5.

The previous hike in the selling price and the MRP was carried out in September 2009. At that time, the selling price [per kg] went up from Rs. 85 to Rs. 115, while the MRP rose from Rs. 100 to Rs. 130.

Since August 2001, Ooty tea is being sold through fair price shops. On an average, 260 to 280 tonnes are supplied by the INDCOSERVE every month.

The INDCOSERVE, the central organisation of 15 industrial cooperative tea factories, procures tea from factories. Accounting for an annual production of 180 lakh kg, the factories are among the large producers and sellers of tea in The Nilgiris district.

Having a membership of 20,000, they command 17 per cent of total production in the State.

The major portion of profit earned out of the sale of Ooty tea is being distributed as rebate to the tea factories to offer reasonable fair price to grower-members of the factories.