Special Correspondent

Committee to formulate insurance package

Law to abolish export cess this session Brazil expert to tone up coffee marketing

NEW DELHI: The Government has set up a Group of Ministers (GoM) to revamp the Price Stabilisation Fund for plantation crops. It has appointed a committee to formulate an insurance package for farmers, Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said on Tuesday.

The GoM would include Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and Minister for Overseas Affairs Vyalar Ravi. It would prepare a plan to revamp the fund, so far a failure.

The Commerce Ministry appointed a one-member committee consisting of the former Chairman of the Insurance and Regulatory Authority, N. Rangachary, to finalise a viable package for plantation farmers. He was asked to submit his report in three months.

Legislation abolishing the export cess on tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and pepper would be introduced in the current session of Parliament after the recess. Efforts were being made to improve marketing. The Coffee Board had brought an expert from Brazil to suggest ways of recapturing India's share in the Italian and Russian markets, which was lost to Vietnam.

The board would hold an India International Coffee Convention in February 2007.

The Tea Board would organise a fair in March 2007. India was the largest producer of tea but it did not hold any international convention on the crop, he said.