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Officials in India have declared that tea will be formally named the country's national drink.

News reports on April 22 cited the head of India's planning commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, as saying tea would be given its special status by April 17, 2013 to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of the first private cultivator in the tea-harvesting region of Assam.

India is second only to China in terms of both production and consumption of tea, with 83 percent of households regularly consuming the beverage, which is considered the most inexpensive drink in the world after water.
Based on reporting by dpa
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