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Assam plans big for 200 years of its tea industry

BNE News Desk , March 28, 2023
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Guwahati: Assam plans big for 200 years of its tea industry

The Assam government has proposed to organise a number of events, including road shows in major cities across the nation and overseas to promote, to commemorate the 200-year history of the state’s tea industry.

According to Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog, the state budget (2023–24), which was submitted to the legislature last week, includes a proposal to enhance the Assam Tea Industries Special Incentives Scheme (ATISIS), 2020, to encourage the production of orthodox tea and special varieties. She stated that, as promised, plans are already in motion to raise the output support for orthodox and specialty tea from Rs 7-10 per kg.

However, the budget stated that an increased production subsidy of Rs 12 per kg will be continued for 2023–2024 in honour of the 200th anniversary of Assam tea.

Additionally, the budget has announced the extension of a tax holiday on agricultural income tax for the following three years, infrastructure development in tea garden areas, special relief, waiver of all outstanding electricity bills for tea garden workers residing in lines, wage compensation programme for expectant women in tea garden areas, and construction of 10,000 houses under the Mukhya programme.

The budget also announced the extension of a tax holiday on agricultural income tax for the following three years, the development of infrastructure in tea garden areas, special relief, the waiver of all outstanding electricity bills for tea garden workers who live in lines, a wage compensation programme for expectant women in tea garden areas, and the construction of 10,000 homes under the Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojana.

The Assam government has also chosen to recognise tea garden employees and the Adivasi people as a distinct subcategory within the tea garden areas. The Assam government also made the decision to acknowledge tea garden employees and the Adivasi community in tea garden regions as a distinct sub-category within the Other Backward Community.

They will be given consideration for the OBC quota of about 3% of government positions, provided that they meet all applicable law requirements.

On the occasion of the state’s tea industry’s bicentennial, the organisations representing the tea industry praised the Assam government’s decisions.

Bidyananda Barkakoty, advisor to the North Eastern Tea Association, expressed his organisation’s delight at the state government's announcements of a grand commemoration of the Assam tea industry's 200th anniversary.

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