Kochi: The software arm of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) is set to start electronic auction of tea by this month-end, and is working on a system that would ensure delivery within a week.
Currently, the weekly tea auctions are conducted manually and delivery from the warehouses typically takes three weeks. The programme for electronic auctions is ready and the matter is being taken up with the Tea Board of India, said V. Rajaraman, vice-president of NSE.iT Ltd.
The electronic auctioning will be operated concurrently with weekly auctions at the seven centres—Guwahati in Assam, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri and Kolkata in West Bengal, Coonoor and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Kochi in Kerala—to enable growers to sell tea quicker.
NSE.iT has held training programmes for brokers and traders at these centres in the past few days. It is also in talks with banks to integrate payments through electronic settlements and a system will be in place, likely by April. However, some work remains on the so-called e-sampling of teas put up for auction.