Ghanoon reports on the tax exemptions for tea importers which has angered domestic tea producers. Approximately, 100 thousand tons of tea is exported into the country annually of which nearly 30 thousand tans is smuggled in. With the removal of the import tax, producers and importers are clashing. Representatives from the province of Gilan, which is the center of tea production in Iran, pointed out that tea production in Iran has fallen from 60 thousand tons to 20 thousand tons. They believe that by removing the import tax on tea, even this amount of production will cease. On the other hand, the Head of the Tea Union, Mohammadreza Moghadasi said that since domestic production can only satisfy a quarter of the country’s needs, the removal of the tax will have no practical effect and will only allow lower income households access to cheap tea. Members of Parliament insist that due to the lack of Government support, tea farmers will abandon their farms and eventually these lands will be repurposed as residential areas.
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