President of the Tea Factory Owners’ Association Lionel Herath says that due to the power cuts, factories in some parts of the island are operating only four days a week, and the transportation of tea leaves has also been hampered as a result of the fuel crisis.
He pointed out that there is a grave threat of several tea factories in seven districts having to close down in the event fuel stocks are not received within the next few days.
He further noted that the support received from the Petroleum Corporation towards the tea industry is totally inadequate.
Herath further pointed out that although many tea factory owners have paid money for fuel, they have not received the fuel stocks so far, adding that the government must pay greater attention to the tea industry as it is a major foreign exchange earning sector.
Also, two hundred and sixty-four private tea factories and another two hundred and fifty factories under the Plantation Company and non-members are operating across the country.
Also, four hundred thousand small tea plantation owners and nearly twenty hundred thousand people who are engaged in indirect jobs related to the tea industry across the country are under serious pressure due to the current situation.