The representation received from the joint forum of Assam Tea Planters Association, North Eastern Tea Association and Bharatiya Cha Parishad has appealed for declaring tea as a national drink as it is consumed by large sections of people and this would also contribute to its brand building exercise. This was what Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya M. Scindia disclosed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. He said that there is no fixed criteria for according national status to any particular product/commodity. A proposal to declare tea as the national drink of India was earlier examined during 2006 in consultation with the Central Ministries concerned and the States/UTs. He said that the matter was not pursued further as objections were raised by some of the State Governments and it was felt that coffee is a competing beverage and both have respective market shares and declaring one particular beverage as a ‘national drink’ will likely be at the cost of the other.