Loan scheme to revive tea industry

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The government is to introduce a loan scheme to revive the tea industry, Plantations Minister Ramesh Pathirana said. He said loans up to Rs 500 million would be provided to tea cultivators on a short-term basis, using funds from the Tea Promotion Fund.

Tea smallholders would also benefit from the scheme as they would be able to pay their workers and modernize their machinery, he said.

A cabinet paper submitted by the Minister to this effect was approved this week. Under the proposal, a grace period is also to be provided to the tea industry while in instances where the property is set to be auctioned concessions will be granted.

The objective is to rebuild the image of Ceylon Tea.