July 25, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has received approval from the cabinet of Ministers to amend the legislation regarding refuse tea and several waste tea grades to enable the authorities to impose hefty fines on the unscrupulous tea traders
Accordingly, the government will amend the Tea Control Act, No.51 of 1957 to control and monitor the refuse tea and tea waste to prevent malpractices in tea trade and fine the individuals heavily.
The proposal made by Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe aims to amend the Tea Control Act by incorporating provisions for the Minister in charge of the subject to make regulations on refuse tea and refuse tea transport.
The proposal seeks conviction for an offence under the Act and punishment for such offences and to increase the increase the maximum amount of fine to be imposed on a person found guilty of an offence under the Act from Rs.50,000 to Rs.500,000 and for compounding of an offence from Rs.10,000 to Rs.500,000.
Regulations will be applicable on control and monitoring of Refuse Tea, Reclaimed Tea, Absolute Refuse, Grade Broken Mixed Fanning (BMF) and Tea Waste and on control and monitoring of handling and dealing of Bin Teas.
Refuse tea is a by-product resulted in the process of converting green leaf into the final tea.
Sri Lanka Police have earlier nabbed several unscrupulous traders with stocks of waste tea that was intended to be mixed with good quality tea.
Sri Lanka has tightened operations against the attempts to bring down the quality of Pure Ceylon Tea by blending good quality tea with waste tea.