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5-point package for tea, coffee planters announced

October 21, 2003 18:49 IST

The government on Tuesday came out with a five-point package including over two per cent cut in interest rates on loans and moratorium on interest payment for the tea and coffee plantation, hit hard by falling global prices.

Announcing the package, Commerce and Industry Minister Arun Jaitley said customs duty on machines for coffee and tea plantation will also be reduced from 50 per cent to five per cent for a period of 18 months to enable the two sectors to modernise.

Jaitley said interest rate for loans upto Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) for tea and coffee growers would have an upper limit of nine per cent. Presently interest rates on such loans are over 11 per cent.

The package was decided after a meeting Finance Minister Jaswant Singh and Jaitley had with the chairmen of the commodity boards.

They also decided to work out a subsidy within 15 days to tackle the problems of tea industry.

To bring down the operational costs of the coffee growers, government has decided to exempt them from mandatory filing of Income-Tax returns for an year on an experimental basis.

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