Pakistan, with a tea consumption of 220 million kg per annum, imports about 120 million kg, making it one of the top three tea importers in the world. A high level of sales tax and customs duty had been rendering the prices of Indian tea uncompetitive in Pakistan so far. Pakistan had been importing most of its tea requirements from Kenya till date. This situation is likely to change with the lowering of the sales tax rate.
The Chairman of the Pakistan Tea Association, Mohammad Hanif Janoo, stated: “Import of good teas from India will increase. Pakistan's legal tea imports will now increase from 120 million kg to around 170 million kg.”
Azim Momem, Chairman of the Exports and Domestic Sales Sub-Committee of the Indian Tea Association (ITA); CS Bedi, Chairman of the ITA; and Ullas Menon, Secretary of the United Planters' Association of Southern India have commended this move, stating that genuine tea buyers in Pakistan would now get value for money.
Authorities from India and Pakistan have signed an agreement in April 2012 to work towards doubling the tea exports by the year 2015, to 50 million kg.
Source: The Hindu