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Could this be the world’s most expensive tea break?

Tea Chai seller on the street, Varanasi Benares India

There is something reassuring about a nice cup of tea. It is always satisfying and if the latest medical research is to be believed it also has a calming and cleansing effect on the whole body. Something else about tea is that it remains relatively affordable there hasn’t been a huge difference in the amount we pay for a cup of tea over many years. Sure it has gone up along with many other regular items we purchase but it hasn’t risen sharply, that is unless you are Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of the Indian State of Maharashtra.

The reason I mention this gentlemen is because he, like many of our politicians a few short years back, has been caught out with his expenses claims. Unlike British politicians who had been claiming for the construction of duck ponds and drawbridges to their country estates, the Indian Chief Minister claimed expenses last year worth Rs 33.4million (£418,000) on 18,000 cups of tea a day!


In India an average cup of chai costs Rs 8-10 (or 8-10 pence). Understandably such expenses have caused something of a scandal with opposition leaders including Sanjay Nirupam claiming, “We have heard of green tea, yellow tea and so on. But Fadnavis seems to be drinking some kind of golden tea.”

There is a serious issue behind this story as farmers across India are suffering from falling prices and failed crops due to a number of climatic and economic reasons.

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