The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is planning to replace the 80-year-old Coffee Act with the new Coffee (Promotion and Development Bill), 2022.
The Coffee Act, of 1942 was first introduced during World War II, in order to protect the struggling Indian coffee industry from the economic downturn caused by the war.
The government is now trying to scrap the law because the substantive portion of the Coffee Act, 1942, which deals with pooling and marketing of the commodity, have become redundant/inoperative.
The new legislation is now primarily concerned with promoting the sale and consumption of Indian coffee, including through e-commerce platforms, with fewer government restrictions.
It also aims at encouraging further economic, scientific and technical research in order to align the Indian coffee industry with “global best practices.”
While the Coffee Board continues to have limited control over marketing, exporters will still require a certificate from the statutory body.
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.