In a bid to pare its debt, McLeod Russel India Ltd. (MRIL) is planning to sell more tea gardens in Assam and West Bengal. According to a source, the company will sell three more tea gardens by September 2019.
“We may sell at least two gardens in Assam and one in Dooars,” a source said on the condition of anonymity. The MRIL now has 49 tea estates, of which 31 are in Assam. The company has been on a selling spree since mid- 2018, months after it set up a committee in May 2018 to identify the assets which could be put on the block. As per sources, the company’s debt stood at around Rs. 21,000 crore at end June 2019 and has also suffered rating downgrades. It was once the largest producer of bulk teas in India.
It may be mentioned here that the Indian Tea Association (ITA) on Friday appealed the Centre to consider an immediate takeover of Employers’ portion of contribution to Provident Fund for a period of at least 3 years.