GUWAHATI, Sept 11: Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal held a meeting on Monday with the representatives of Sadou Asom Khudra Chah Khetiyok Sanstha (All Assam Small Tea Growers Association) at his chamber at Assam Legislative Assembly and discussed various problems afflicting the small tea growers in the state.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister said that a total of 78,286 small tea growers of the state would be provided land pattas for their lands in the first phase.
Saying that small tea industry cannot be allowed to die in the state as it has been giving employment to a big number of people and rural economy, particularly in upper Assam districts, is heavily dependent on tea cultivation, Sonowal urged the small tea growers to keep a check on the quality of the tea sold in the market as Indian tea has been going through a tough phase in the intertiol market due to falling quality. He called on the Association to form a quality control cell and check the quality of tea sold by small tea growers.
Assuring the small tea growers about the commitment of the State Government to safeguard their interest, Sonowal said that Rs 1 crore has already been allotted for constructing a centre of the small tea growers at Jorhat and he also assured of taking steps for opening a separate centre for small tea growers at Assam Agriculture University.
Water Resource Minister Keshab Mahanta, Minister of State for Labour and Employment and Tea Tribes Welfare Pallab Lochan Das, MLAs Tapan Gogoi, Bimal Bora, Ritupar Barua, Additiol Chief Secretary for Industries & Commerce Department Ravi Capoor, Additiol Chief Secretary for Labour and Employment and Tea Tribes Welfare Rajesh Prasad were also present at the meeting.