Illegal tea imports rampant, top Sri Lankan exporter says

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tea industry is suffering because illegal imports of cheap tea is rampant, top tea exporter Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company has warned.

“How such tea is exported under prevailing regulations is just a mystery,” Dilmah Ceylon Tea chairman Merrill J Fernando said.

The tea industry is in dire straits, suffering as a result of neglect and interference, he told shareholders in the firm’s annual report for 2018.

“Every possible abuse is in place from plantations to exports,” Fernando said.

If authorities continue to ignore these fraudulent activities by some, the country’s economy will pay heavily, he warned.

“All manner of abuse goes undetected to the authorities although it is common knowledge to the public.

“Imports of cheap tea from India are creating a situation where soon our exports may be larger than production, the same fate as Sri Lankan pepper,” Fernando said.
(COLOMBO, 02 September, 2018)

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