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TEA RESEARCH BOARD ACT

TEA RESEARCH BOARD ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

Establishment of Tea Research Board

2. Establishment of Tea Research Board.

3. Board to be a body corporate.

4. Seal of the Board.

5. Functions of the Board.

6. Powers of the Board.

PART II

Constitution of the Board

7. Constitution of the Board.

8. Term of office.

9. Chairman of the Board.

10. Meetings of the Board.

11. Proceedings of the Board not to be invalid by reason of any vacancy or defect in nomination of a member.

PART III

Powers and Functions of the Director

12. The Director.

PART IV

Finance

13. Levy of cess on tea exported.

14. The Fund of the Board.

15. Audit of accounts.

16. Board statement and report to be placed before Parliament.

17. Exemption from taxes.

PART V

Miscellaneous

18. Regulations.

19. Action or Proceeding not to lie against Board, or officer or servant in certain circumstances.

20. Appointment of public officers, to the staff of the Board.

21. Officers and servants of the Board deemed to be public servants.

22. Board to be a scheduled institution within the meaning of the Bribery Act.

23. Returns.

24. Transitional provisions.

25. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

26. Interpretation.

52 of 1993,

30 of 2003,

43 of 2006,

8 of 2019.

AN ACT to provide for the establishment of a Tea Research Board; and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 12th November, 1993]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Tea Research Board Act.

PART I

Establishment of Tea Research Board

2. Establishment of Tea Research Board.

There shall be established, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, a Board which shall be called the Tea Research Board (hereinafter referred to as “the Board”).

3. Board to be a body corporate.

(1) The Board shall by the name assigned to it by section 2 be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in such name.

(2) The headquarters of the Board shall be at Talawakale or such other place as may be determined by the Board with the approval of the Minister.

4. Seal of the Board.

The seal of the Board—

(a) shall be in the custody of the Chairman of the Board;

(b) shall be of such design as shall be approved by the Board and may be altered in such manner as may be determined by the Board; and

(c) shall not be affixed to any document except in accordance with the rules of the Board.

5. Functions of the Board.

The functions of the Board shall be to engage in, and to encourage, foster and facilitate, research into the planting and manufacturing of tea and in particular—

(a) to conduct, assist and encourage scientific and technological research in, and investigations of, all matters pertaining to the production and manufacture of tea, including the prevention and control of diseases and pests affecting tea, conservation of soil in tea lands, quality of fertiliser used, maintaining the quality of tea planting material, assessing and dealing with the impact of climate change and diversification of tea products; and to disseminate and publish at its discretion, the results of such research to the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority established by the Tea Small Holdings Development Law, to tea small holders, large scale estate sector and to other stakeholders;

[S 5(a) am by s 2 of Act 8 of 2019.]

(b) to conduct, assist and encourage, research, into the economic viability of the tea industry in Sri Lanka including future economic trends in such industry;

(c) to maintain and administer the Tea Research Institute situated at Talawakale, and its substations, in accordance with the rules of the Board;

(d) to establish maintain, relations with research institutions, in Sri Lanka and abroad;

(e) to conduct, in the discharge of its functions, joint study programmes, seminars or symposia, with foreign research institutions and research institutions in Sri Lanka.

(f) to promote investment in tea research;

[S 5(f) ins by s 2 of Act 30 of 2003.]

(g) to undertake the collection and dissemination of data on the tea industry and to conduct research to ascertain the development potential of the tea industry;

[S 5(g) ins by s 2 of Act 30 of 2003.]

(h) to advise the Minister on appropriate policies in relation to the tea industry and to co-ordinate with other relevant agencies.

[S 5(h) ins by s 2 of Act 30 of 2003.]

6. Powers of the Board.

The Board shall have such powers as may be necessary for the discharge of its functions and in particular, shall have the power to do all or any of the following—

(a) to acquire and hold, property movable or immovable, which may become vested in it by virtue of any lease, purchase, grant, donation, bequest or otherwise and subject to the rules of the Board, to lease, sell, assign, exchange or otherwise dispose of, the same;

(b) to open and maintain, current, savings or deposit accounts in any bank or banks;

(c) to apply for, purchase or otherwise acquire, any patents, brevets invention, or concessions conferring an exclusive, or non-exclusive, or limited, right to use or sell any information as to any invention which is capable of being used for the discharge of the functions of the Board, or the acquisition of which may facilitate the discharge of such functions, and to use, develop or grant licenses in respect of, the property rights and information so
acquired
;

(d) to establish and maintain experimental stations for the purposes of research and to equip such stations with all such appurtenances, accessories or equipment as may be necessary for such research;

(e) to maintain and manage tea estates and tea factories, for research and connected purposes;

(f) to borrow such sums of money as may be necessary for the purpose of discharging its functions;

(g) to enter into agreements for co-operation with educational and other institutions, whether in Sri Lanka or abroad, having objects wholly or partly similar to those of the Board, for the exchange of personnel, research and advisory services and the training of personnel; and generally, for such purposes as may be in furtherance of their common objects;

(h) to invest its funds in such securities, as may be determined by the Board with the approval of the Minister and the Minister in charge of the Subject of Finance;

(i) to provide practical assistance, by way of advice, demonstrations, inspection of plantations and analysis, for persons engaged in the planting and manufacturing of tea;

(j) to provide services including inspections, information and reports, on the payment of the prescribed fee or free of charge;

(k) —

(i) to prevent the import of any tea planting material except under the authority of a Plant Importation Permit issued to the Director of the Tea Research Institute by the Director General of the Department of Agriculture under the Plant Protection Act and in the case of export, to issue a phytosanitary certificate on the request of the country of import;

(ii) for the purpose of this paragraph “tea planting material” includes any kind of planting material that may be capable of being used directly as propagules including cuttings, shoots, scions, stumps, seeds, in vitro cultures (micro propagules) or any kind of plant material that can be regenerated to produce plants indirectly, including any form of somatic or reproductive tissue, organ and also germplasm, improved variety, cultivar, wild form of tea from any living portion of any tea plant capable of being used for
propagatio
n;

[S 6(k) ins by s 3(1) of Act 8 of 2019.]

(l) to appoint, employ, remunerate and exercise disciplinary control over, and dismissal of such officers, servants or agents as are necessary, for the discharge of the functions of the Board;

[S 6(k) renumbered as 6(l) by s 3(2) of Act 8 of 2019.]

(m) to accept and receive, grants, donations, bequests both movable and immovable, from sources, in Sri Lanka and abroad and to apply them for the discharge of its functions;

[S 6(l) renumbered as 6(m) by s 3(2) of Act 8 of 2019.]

(n) to establish a provident fund, pension scheme or medical scheme for the benefit of the officers and servants of the Board and to make contributions to any such fund or scheme;

[S 6(m) renumbered as 6(n) by s 3(2) of Act 8 of 2019.]

(o) to enter into such contracts and agreements as are necessary for the discharge of its functions; and

[S 6(n) renumbered as 6(o) by s 3(2) of Act 8 of 2019.]

(p) to make rules in respect of the management of the affairs of the Board.

[S 6(o) renumbered as 6(p) by s 3(2) of Act 8 of 2019.]

PART II

Constitution of the Board

7. Constitution of the Board.

(1) The Board shall consist of—

(a) the person holing office for the time being as the Director of the Tea Research Institute, who shall be the ex-officio member of the Board; and

(b) the following nominated members appointed by the Minister, namely—

(i) a representative of the Ministry of the Minister in charge of the subject of Plantation Industries, nominated by that Minister;

(ii) a representative of the Ministry of the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance not below the rank of a Senior Assistant Secretary, nominated by that Minister;

(iii) a representative of the Sri Lanka Tea Board established by the Sri Lanka Tea Board Law, nominated by such Board;

(iv) a representative of the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority established by the Tea Small Holdings Development Law, nominated by such Authority;

(v) two members nominated by the Minister in charge of the subject of Plantation Industries from amongst persons having sufficient knowledge and experience in research and development in the agricultural sector;

(vi) a representative of the Planters’ Association of Ceylon established by the Planters’ Association of Ceylon Ordinance, nominated by such Association;

(vii) two members representing the Trade Unions, who shall be selected on such criteria as may be determined by the Minister in charge of the subject of Plantation Industries;

For the purpose of this subparagraph “Trade Unions” shall have the same meaning as in the Trade Unions Ordinance;

(viii) a representative of the Sri Lanka Federation of Tea Small Holdings Development Societies established under the Tea Small Holdings Development Law, nominated by that Federation; and

(ix) a representative of the Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners’ Association, nominated by that Association.

[S 7(1)(b) subs by s 4 of Act 8 of 2019.]

(2) The Minister shall appoint one of the appointed members as the Chairman of the Board.

[S 7(2) subs by s 3 of Act 30 of 2003.]

(3) No Person shall be qualified to be appointed a member of the Board unless he is a citizen of Sri Lanka.

8. Term of office.

(1) A member of the Board nominated under sub-section (1)(b) of section 7 shall hold office for a period of three years reckoned from the date of his nomination.

(2) The Minister may remove any member of the Board, nominated under subsection (1)(b) of section 7, from office—

(a) if he is adjudged by a competent court to be of unsound mind; or

(b) if he is adjudged by a competent court to be insolvent or guilty of an offence involving moral turpitude.

(3) A member of the Board nominated under sub-section (1)(b) of section 7 may at any time resign his office by letter addressed to the person nominating such member.

(4) In the event of a vacancy occurring in the member ship of the Board as a result of any member of the Board nominated under sub-section (1)(b) of section 7 vacating office, by death, resignation, removal from office, or otherwise, another person shall, having regard to the provisions of section 7, be nominated to fill such vacancy.

(5) Where another person is nominated to fill a vacancy- caused by the death, resignation, removal from office, or otherwise, of a member nominated under sub-section (1)(b) of section 7, the person so nominated shall hold such office during the unexpired part of the term of office of the member of the Board whom he succeeds.

(6) Where any member of the Board nominated under subsection (1)(b) of section 7, is by reason of illness, infirmity or absences from Sri Lanka for is period of not less than three months, temporarily unable to perform his duties, another person, may, having regard to the provisions of section 7, be nominated to act in his place.

(7) Any member of the Board nominated under sub-section (1)(b) of section 7, who is absent without leave from three consecutive ordinary meetings of the Board, shall be deemed to have vacated his office.

9. Chairman of the Board.

(1) The Chairman may at any time resign from the office of Chairman by letter addressed to the Minister.

(2) The Minister may at any time, remove the Chairman from the office of Chairman, without assigning any reason therefor.

(3) If the Chairman is by reason of illness or absence from Sri Lanka, temporarily unable to perform the duties of his office, the Minister may appoint another member of the Board to act in his place.

(4) Subject to the provisions of subsections (1) and (2), the term of office of the Chairman shall be the period of his membership of the Board.

10. Meetings of the Board.

(1) The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board. In the absence of the Chairman from any meeting of the Board, a member chosen by the members of the Board present at such meeting, shall preside at such
meetin
g.

(2) In the event of any equality of votes at any meeting of the Board, the Chairman or the member presiding at such meeting shall in addition to his vote have a casting vote.

(3) The Board may delegate to the Chairman any power, duty or function conferred or imposed on, or assigned to, the Board by this Act.

(4) The meetings of the Board shall be convened by the Chairman and shall be held as frequently as is necessary for the purpose of the discharge of the functions of the Board under this Act.

(5) The quorum for a meeting of the Board shall be six members.

[S 10(5) am by s 4 of Act 30 of 2003.]

(6) The members of the Board shall be remunerated in such manner and at such rates as may be determined by the Minister, in consultation with the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance.

(7) Subject to the provisions of this Act, regulations may be made, regulating the procedure to be followed with regard to the conduct of its meetings and the transaction of business at such meetings.

(8) The Board shall in the exercise of its powers, the performance of its duties and the discharge of its functions, be subject to, and act in accordance with, such direction as the Minister may from time to time issue.

11. Proceedings of the Board not to be invalid by reason of any vacancy or defect in nomination of a member.

Subject to the provisions of subsection (5) of section 10, the Board shall have the power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and no act or proceeding of the Board shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of any such vacancy or any defect in the nomination of a member thereof.

PART III

Powers and Functions of the Director

12. The Director.

The Director of the Tea Research Institute referred to in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 7 shall be the chief executive officer of the Institute and shall—

[S 12 am by s 5 of Act 30 of 2003.]

(a) be responsible for the administration of the affairs of that Institute, subject to the general direction and control of the Board;

(b) exercise, perform and discharge any such powers, functions and duties of the Board as may be delegated to him by the Board.

PART IV

Finance

13. Levy of cess on tea exported.

(a) There shall be charged, levied and paid on every kilogram of tea exported from Sri Lanka a cess calculated at such rate as may be fixed by the Minister in consultation with the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance, by Order published in the Gazette:

Provided that no such cess shall be charged or levied on any tea, which is proved to the satisfaction of the Director-General of Customs to have been imported into Sri Lanka for the purpose of re-export—

(b) The amount of the cess imposed under this section may be varied, or any such cess may be rescinded, by the Minister, in consultation with the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance, by Order published in the Gazette.

(c) Every Order made by the Minister under this section shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Gazette or on such later date as may be specified therein, and shall be brought before Parliament for approval within four months of the date of its publication in the Gazette. Any such Order which is not so approved shall be deemed to be revoked as from the date of its disapproval, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done there under. Notification of the date on which any such Order is deemed to be revoked shall be published in the
Gazette.

(d) This section shall have effect as though it formed a part of the Customs Ordinance, and the provisions of that Ordinance shall apply accordingly.

(e) The proceeds of the cess recovered under this section shall be paid monthly by the Director-General of Customs, to the credit of the Tea Research Fund established by section 14. Every such payment shall be accompanied by the supporting documents-

(f) The cess on tea imposed under this section shall be in addition, to any export duty or cess on tea levied under any other written law.

14. The Fund of the Board.

(1) There shall be established a Fund to be called the Tea Research Fund (hereinafter referred to as “the Fund”).

(2) There shall be paid into the Fund—

(a) such sums of money as may be received by the Board in the exercise, performance and discharge of its powers, duties and functions under this Act;

(b) such sums of money as may be received by the Board, by way of grants, donations, bequests from any source whatever, whether in Sri Lanka or abroad;

(c) The proceeds of the cess on tea imposed under section 13.

(3) There shall be paid out of the Fund all sums of money as may be authorised by the Board for the purpose of defraying any expenditure incurred by the Board, in the exercise, performance and discharge of its powers, duties and functions under this Act.

15. Audit of accounts.

(1) The Board shall cause proper accounts to be kept of the income and expenditure, assets and liabilities and all other transactions of the Board.

(2) The financial year of the Board shall be the calendar year.

(3) The Auditor-General shall audit the accounts of the Board every year. For the purpose of assisting him in the audit of such accounts, the Auditor-General may employ the services of any qualified auditor who shall act under his direction and control.

(4) For the purposes of meeting the expenses incurred by him in the audit of accounts of the Board, the Auditor-General shall be paid out of the Fund such remuneration as may be determined by the Board. Any remuneration received by the Auditor-General shall, after deduction there from of any sums paid by him to any qualified auditor or auditors employed by him for the purpose of conducting such audit, be credited to the Consolidated Fund.

(5) The Board shall, as soon as practicable after the thirty-first day of December of each year prepare a report on the administration of the affairs of the Board during that year, together with a statement of the income and expenditure of the Board and of the investment of the moneys belonging to the Board during that year.

[S 15(5) am by s 2 of Act 43 of 2006.]

(6) In this section, the expression “qualified auditor” means—

(a) an individual who being a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka or any other institute established by law, possesses a certificate to practice as an Accountant, issued by the Council of such Institute, or

(b) a firm of chartered accountants each of the partners of which, being a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, or of any other Institute established by law, possesses a certificate to practice as an Accountant, issued by the Council of such Institute.

16. Board statement and report to be placed before Parliament.

The Board shall transmit the report prepared by the Board in pursuance of section 15 to the Minister in charge of the subject of Plantation Industries who shall cause such report and statement to be placed before Parliament.

[S 16 am by s 3 of Act 43 of 2006.]

17. Exemption from taxes.

The Minister may in consultation with the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance waive any charges leviable on an import license, in respect of goods imported by the Board, for utilisation by the Board.

PART V

Miscellaneous

18. Regulations.

(1) The Minister may make regulations in respect of matters, for which regulations are required or authorised by this Act to be made, or which are required by this Act to be prescribed.

(2) Every regulation made under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into operation on the date of such publication or on such later date as may be specified in such regulation.

(3) Every regulation made under subsection (1) shall as soon as convenient after its publication in the Gazette be brought before Parliament for approval and any regulation which is not so approved shall be deemed to be rescinded with effect from the date of such disapproval, but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder.

(4) Notification of the date on which any regulation is deemed to be rescinded shall be published in the Gazette.

19. Action or Proceeding not to lie against Board, or officer or servant in certain circumstances.

(1) No action or proceeding shall lie against the Board for any act which in good faith is done, or purported to be done, by the Board under this Act.

(2) No action or proceeding shall lie against any member, officer, servant or agent of the Board for any act which in good faith is done or purported to be done, by him under this Act or on the direction of the Board.

(3) Any expense incurred by the Board in any action or proceeding brought by or against the Board before any Court shall be paid out of the Fund and any costs paid to, or recovered by, the Board in any such action or proceeding shall be credited to the Fund.

(4) Any expense incurred by any such person as is referred to in subsection (2) in any action or proceeding brought against him before any court in respect of any act, which is done or purported to be done by him under this Act or on the direction of the Board, shall if the Court holds that the act was so done or purported to be done, in good faith, be paid out of the Fund, unless such expense is recovered by him in such action or
proceeding.

20. Appointment of public officers, to the staff of the Board.

(1) At the request of the Board any officer in the public service may, with the consent of that officer and of the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister in charge of the subject of Public Administration, be temporarily appointed to the staff of the Board, for such period as may be determined by the Board with like consent, or with like consent be permanently appointed to such staff.

(2) Where any public officer is temporarily appointed to the staff of the Board, the provisions of section 13(2) of the Transport Board Law, No. 19 of 1978, shall apply to, and in relation to, him.

(3) Where any public officer is permanently appointed to the staff of the Board, the provisions of section 13(3) of the Transport Board Law, No. 19 of 1978, shall apply to, and in relation to, him.

(4) Where the Board employs a person who has entered into a contract with the Government by which he has agreed to serve the Government for a specified period, any period of service to the Board by that person shall be regarded as service to the Government for the purpose of discharging the obligations of such person under such contract.

21. Officers and servants of the Board deemed to be public servants.

All officers and servants of the Board shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning and for the purposes of the Penal Code.

22. Board to be a scheduled institution within the meaning of the Bribery Act.

The Board shall be deemed to be a scheduled institution within the meaning of the Bribery Act and the provisions of that Act shall be construed accordingly.

23. Returns.

(1) The Board may for the purpose of discharging its functions under this Act require any person to furnish to the Board, such returns and information in respect of such matters and in such form as may be determined by the
Board.

(2) Any person who—

(a) fails to furnish any return or information in compliance with any requirement imposed on him under subsection (1);

(b) knowingly makes any false statement in any return or information furnished by him in compliance with any requirements imposed on him under subsection (1); or

(c) willfully omits any matter in any return or information furnished by him in compliance with any requirement imposed on him under subsection (1), shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall on conviction, after summary trial before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand rupees.

24. Transitional provisions.

(1) All property, movable and immovable, vested in the Sri Lanka Tea Board and used on the day preceding the appointed date, for the purposes of the Tea Research Institute maintained by the Sri Lanka Tea Board (in this section referred to as the “Tea Research Institute”), shall vest in the Board, with effect from the appointed
date.

(2) All contracts and agreements entered into, by, or with, the Sri Lanka Tea Board for the purposes of the Tea Research Institute, and all liabilities incurred by the Sri Lanka Tea Board in respect of the Tea Research Institute, and subsisting on the day preceding the appointed date; shall be deemed, with effect from the appointed date to be contracts agreements and liabilities entered into, by, or with the Board, and may be enforced
accordingly.

(3) All actions and proceedings instituted by, or against, the Sri Lanka Tea Board relating to the Tea Research Institute and pending on the day preceding the appointed date shall, with effect from the appointed date, be deemed to be actions and proceedings instituted by or against, the Board and may be continued accordingly.

25. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

In the event of any inconsistency between the Sinhala and Tamil text of this Act, the Sinhala text shall prevail.

26. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Chairman” means the Chairman of the Board, nominated under section 7(2);

“Sri Lanka Tea Board” means the Sri Lanka Tea Board established by the Sri Lanka Tea Board Law, No. 14 of 1975; and the expressions “made tea”, “tea”, “tea factory” and “tea plant” shall have the respective meanings assigned to them by the Tea Control Act, No. 51 of 19571.

1. Foot note here - The members of the Board holding office on the day immediately preceding the date of commencement of Tea Research Board (Amendment) Act, No. 30 of 2003 continue to hold office as such until such time the Board is reconstituted under section 7 of the Tea Research Board Act, No. 52 of 1993 as amended by it. See section 6 of Tea Research Board (Amendment) Act, No. 30 of 2003.