The Government has decided to have a relook into the provisions of the Coffee Act 1942, noting that many of its aspects have become redundant with time and are therefore harming the prospects of the country’s coffee trade. In its place, a simplified legislation will be brought in, it has said.
Informing about this, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal during a review meeting held with stakeholders of the coffee industry at the headquarters of Coffee Board in Bengaluru on September 18, also ruled out all apprehensions that the government intends to close down the organisation. Rather, he said that Coffee Board will be brought under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture.
“In order to provide better services to coffee growers especially small growers, it is proposed to shift the Coffee Board from the Ministry of Commerce to Ministry of Agriculture. This will ensure that the benefits of all the schemes of agriculture are extended to the coffee growers,” an official statement released after the meeting, said.
The minister told the coffee industry representatives that all those provisions in the Coffee Act which are restrictive and regulatory in nature and are hurting the trade, will be removed and in its place a simple legislation which is in sync with the current requirements of the trade will be brought in.
During the meeting, ways of increasing production, exports as well as ensuring greater returns for the commodity were also discussed with the industry stakeholders, official sources said.
Among various issues taken up during the meeting, coffee growers shared their apprehensions with the minister over losing their lands owing to notices issued by banks under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act (SARFAESI Act), which allows them to auction properties to recover their outstanding loans.
The minister assured the growers that he will discuss the matter with other ministries and a solution will be worked as soon as possible.