Guwahati: Assam Minister for Industries and Commerce Bimal Bora said that the state government is determined to work on the improvement of tea estates and to shoulder the social responsibilities of the industry.
In a meeting held here to discuss the formulation of a new Tea Policy with representatives of various associations, the minister on Wednesday made a presentation on the draft proposal of the policy which has various components.
The components include among others replacements of old plants and machinery, financial assistance for opening tea boutiques, new blending and packaging industries, participating in trade fairs national and international, quality certification, organic tea certification of the factory and export support for sending tea directly from Assam to overseas countries.
Tea Association of India’s Secretary General PK Bhattacharjee said that the foremost task before the industry was to increase the per capita consumption of tea.
Assam contributes more than 50 per cent of the country’s production and as such the responsibility to upscale the quantum of consumption weighs heavily on the tea industry which calls for a proactive policy.
He also urged the government to integrate the various schemes under the national flagship schemes in the tea policy.
Guwahati Tea Buyers Association’s Secretary Dinesh Bihani said that the tea-blending and packaging unit is currently not covered under Assam Industrial Policy and as such, tea is being purchased from Assam and packaged in other states.
If the state government allows this it will bring huge investment, employment and development of Infrastructure and create goodwill, leading to higher price realisation of Assam tea, he said,
The government should make policies that incentivise good tea producers and encourages them to sell their produce through Guwahati Tea Auction Centre and help it to become the world’s largest auction centre, Bihani added.
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