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Govt proposes new “Coffee Bill 2022” to promote development of the Indian coffee industry

Business News. The Centre plans to repeal the existing 80-year old Coffee Act and has proposed a new “Coffee (Promotion and Development Bill), 2022” to promote development of the Indian coffee industry.

Through a new law, the government aims to modernise the functioning of the Coffee Board of India that is responsible for boosting production and the quality of Indian coffee, push exports and support the development of the domestic market.

The Bill is likely to be introduced in the ongoing session of the Parliament.

Government officials aware of the matter said the existing law was enacted in 1942, with provisions relevant to that time. Currently, many rules and regulations, especially those pertaining to the marketing of coffee, are redundant. Besides, over the past 10 years, there has been a paradigm shift in the way coffee is grown, marketed and consumed.

“Therefore, a revised bill with holistic provisions aimed at promotion and development of the entire value chain of coffee and enabling ease of doing business is beneficial to all stakeholders and to the general public,” one official said.

“The new bill addresses several functional areas of the Coffee Board, such as support for production, research, extension, and quality improvement, promotion of coffee and skill development of growers. Many such activities were originally not included in the mandate of the Coffee Board but now need to be incorporated into its functions and powers,” the official said.

The growth of the coffee industry will create jobs and business entrepreneurship opportunities in all sectors of the coffee value chain, from production to consumption. Besides, consumers will get good quality coffee, on a par with other countries.

The Bill will also protect the interests of the labour in plantations, processing units and coffee communities.

The Bill will promote ease of doing business by simplifying documentation and procedures, including replacing the existing five-year validity of Registration cum Membership Certificate (RCMC) with a one-time exporter registration and bringing in a one-time registration of curing units. Curing is a process that prepares coffee beans for the market. There will be a time-bound procedure in the Bill for issuing the Registration Certificate.

As far the strategy for production improvement is concerned, there will be expansion of coffee in suitable areas across the country. Productivity improvement will take place through systematic research and development, transfer of technology as well as developmental support to the stakeholders.

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