Sonowal assures steps to promote tea industry
From a Correspondent
JORHAT, March 20: Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal ceremonially launched the direct benefit transfer of fincial incentives for Small Tea Growers (STGs) for new area under plantation in a programme held at Dr Madhab Chandra Das Auditorium of Assam Agricultural University at Jorhat on Tuesday. The incentive to the tune of Rs. 5,000 per bigha would benefit 1188 STGs of the State.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Sonowal said that the tea industry was directly related to the land, climate, civilization and culture of Assam and the State Government had resolved to support the industry for its sustaible growth. He congratulated the tea tribes community whose hard work had kept the tea industry alive. He also lauded the small tea growers of the State for playing a decisive role in economic uplift of the State and solving the unemployment problem among educated youths. He urged the STGs to work cohesively with the big players in the field for wholesome growth of the tea industry in Assam.
“The small tea growers have emerged as a formidable force in the State and significantly contributed to the growth of State economy. However, the industry has of late faced serious challenges and to overcome them, the big and small tea growers must put united efforts. The government has also resolved to promote the industry and extend support to the people involved with its plantation. The fincial incentive is a small step but it reflects the government’s intent,” said Sonowal.
Stating that Prime Minister rendra Modi in his maiden speech in the Parliament expressed his vision to transform the Northeast as an organic hub of the country, Sonowal urged the tea industry to take a lead in this regard. “The small tea growers must opt for organic plantation. This will boost our environment and make the economy sustaible,” he said, adding that the government was not in favour of an economy at the cost of ecology. Sonowal also urged the STGs to maintain quality in their production.
Further underlining the government initiatives to boost up the tea industry, he informed that an amount of Rs. 17 crore had been sanctioned for setting up a training and research centre at Toklai Tea Research Centre, which would focus more on empowering the small tea growers. The government has already taken a decision to provide land patta to the STGs against the land under plantation at a premium of Rs 1000 per bigha upto 30 bigha, he added. He also mentioned that fresh survey would be conducted to identify the number of STGs in the State.
State Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa also spoke on the occasion. Additiol Chief Secretary, Industry and Commerce, Ravi Capoor delivered the welcome speech.