In a letter to Tea Board of India, CCPA pointed, “CCPA notes with grave concern to continuous disruptions in the Auction system over the last few months. We would like refer to our past letters dated 5.8.21, 11.8.21 and 24.8.21. Although Tea Board had assured in a recent meeting that the issue would be resolved within a fortnight, we regret to state after 3-weeks that there are still repeated technical glitches resulting in several disruptions throughout the days at all auction centers without any sign of improvement when there is more demand and the market is buoyant. The CCPA is receiving several calls from sellers and buyers in this regard”
The body added, “Some of their complaints include Buyers / Auctioneers getting logged out without any notice, Auction Schedules getting totally disrupted, Bids are not being accepted by the system resulting in outlots / lower price realization and buyers are losing out on buying. Thus many lots that are sold could have fetched higher price but the system’s inability to register competing buyers’ bids led to teas getting knocked-down at lower prices. Auctioneers are not able to activate lots at their end on time and missing out from selling lots during the main Sale. “
It also added, “On extension of Sale lot of buyers are forced to log-out from the online auction due to fatigues and thus majority of teas on re-offer received lower bids than what could have originally received during the main sale. Sales have been getting pushed back to next days, even on Saturdays due to these repeated disruptions. Prompts getting delayed, due to the sales finishing later than originally planned. Auctioneers need to carry on the Auction in less than ideal circumstances, leading to huge loss for sellers whose produce is either left unsold or sold at a lower price and at the same time it resulted in a loss for buyers who missed out on their planned purchases”
CCPA observed that sellers are incurring heavy losses owing to teas getting out-listed and not being sold when reoffered many times apart from incurring huge cost on account of sampling, warehousing and working capital interests.
“The entire tea trade – sellers, buyers and auctioneers – are thus getting increasingly frustrated in the absence of a sound Auction System which can offer fair price discovery in time. Tea Board may need to consider for a change in the system of re-offering lots at all Auction Centers and re-offer missed out lots at the beginning of the next day before the start of the main auction sessions instead at the evening to ensure more active participation from buyers. In the midst of the peak cropping season there is no scope of any further experiment as cash flow of sellers are badly affected due to delay in price realizations. Sellers regularly need fund to settle wages and ensuing bonus payments. CCPA would request Tea Board to kindly take all necessary actions immediately to ensure smooth functioning of the Auction System so that no stakeholder incurs any financial losses further.”