50 Years of Guwahati Tea Auction Centre | Guwahati News

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50 Years of Guwahati Tea Auction Centre

Barasha Das | September 26, 2020 18:49 hrs

On 25th September, the prestigious Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) completes 50 years. On its Golden Jubilee celebration lets recall the glorious past of the second-largest Crush Tear Curl (CTC) Auction Centre in the world. 


The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre was inaugurated on 25th September 1970. 


It’s currently located at GS Road, Dispur, right next to the Assam Secretariat. But the first auction of GTAC was held at the then Nehru Stadium Guest House (now Hotel Landmark) on Dr. B Baruah Road. 


Efforts for the establishment of a tea auction centre in Assam started from the 1960s. A group of planters from the state dedicatedly worked for the cause, setting up a committee.


The first meeting of the Guwahati Tea Auction Committee was held on 29th August, 1970 at Shillong, then the capital of Assam. It was chaired by the Late Dharmendra Das. The final draft of the GTAC rules were approved in this meeting and the date of the inaugural sale was decided as 25th September.


Due to limited time, and without proper storage, the spacious Assam Small Industries Development Corporation (ASIDC) shed was converted to a tea warehouse by Anil Sarma. The first truckload of the consignment was brought from Bahoni Tea Estate, Jorhat. 


Many dignitaries of the state including ministers, tea planters, and other prominent citizens witnessed the historic auction. There were also many stakeholders from Calcutta who came as observers rather than participants. Many people, who were nowhere associated with the tea industry, also flocked in out of sheer curiosity. Also, the newly registered buyers outnumbered buyers from other auction centers. That time the auction had an outcry system.


Radha Govinda Baruah knocked down the first lot of tea from Haroocharai Tea Estate, Jorhat on behalf of the Assam Tea Brokers. It was bought by Jafar Ali of Diamond Tea Company, Jorhat. A total of 9.1 million kgs of tea was sold at an average price of Rs. 5.68 per kg.


The present building of GTAC has two world-class auction halls - one for the CTC leaf section with 480 seats and another for the CTC dust section with 110 seats. The auction centre is spread across 20,000 sq feet. It also has 12,00,000 sq ft of permanent warehousing space dedicated to the storage of auction tea, and banking facilities, and recreational club facilities for its members. It has a premium tea lounge, called the ‘Chai Bar’, which offers different selections of tea from the state. 


Following global digitization, GTAC introduced e-platform in 2010 for buying and selling teas as a pan India auction system. It became the first auction centre in India to sell tea globally and introduced a digital settlement prompt payment system.  


By selling 204 million kgs of tea in 2019-20 at the average price of Rs. 139.63 per kg, GTAC created history. The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre is the second tea auction centre of India after Calcutta.

Credits : GTAC website, TAI. 
 

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