Instead of depending on subsidies, the tea industry should change its business model to generate more demand through quality improvement and innovative ideas, Mr Arun Kumar Ray, deputy chairman, Tea Board of India said at the 55th annual general meeting of Tea Research Association (TRA) here today.

He said that the Tea Board itself is becoming lean and have taken several steps for it’s own revenue generation.

Mr Ray also appreciated the steps taken by TRA to become self sufficient in the near future. Mr P K Bezboruah, chairman of TRA in his address stated that funding from the government have become very unstable over the years and the association has made a plan to become fully self sufficient in 5 years through internal revenue generation.

He said that TRA follows CSIR pay scales and the salary related costs of employees are 88 per cent of it’s budget.

Without proper flow of funds from the government, it is very difficult to run the organisation only on industry funds. Mr Vijay Kumar Saraswat, member of Niti Aayog said the voice from tea industry have not been heard and he offered to arrange a meeting with the Niti Aayog members soon.

Mr Kamakhya Tasa, MP, thanked the industry for paying bonus at higher rates in spite of difficult times.

The AGM was attended by around 250 participants from the tea industry in Kolkata.