Guwahati: A logo to commemorate 200 years of Assam Tea was unveiled here on Sunday, coinciding with International Tea Day.
The logo, designed by the Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Fashion and Tea Board India, was unveiled by Assam Industry and Commerce Minister Bimal Borah.
Assam Tea, which contributes to over 50 per cent of the tea produced annually in the country, was first discovered growing in the wild in 1823 by Major Robert Bruce.
The state government will mark the bicentennial year of Assam Tea in a grand manner, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
“For 200 years, Assam ki kadak chai’ has powered the day for crores of people across the world,” he tweeted.
“On #InternationalTeaDay we reiterate our commitment to our 70 lakh strong tea garden community & celebrate the bicentennial year of India’s national beverage in a grand manner (sic),” he added.
At a programme to mark International Tea Day, Borah dwelt on the initiatives taken by his government for the benefit of the tea industry and its workers.
He also distributed cheques of varying amounts to small tea farmers for the purchase of transport vehicles under the Cess Utilization Policy wherein the state government offers 75 per cent cost assistance.
Borah said the tea industry has made a significant contribution to the economy of the state by becoming one of the major employment-generating sectors, providing livelihood to thousands of people.
“In addition to the economic ramification, the tea industry has also contributed immensely towards the social fabric of the state with various cultural practices and art forms of the many tribes that were brought in as workers being absorbed into Assam’s vibrant tapestry of traditions and heritage,” he said.
Borah said that while Assam Tea has come a long way, much still needs to be done to ensure that it remains competitive in the evolving global market.
“Our focus now also needs to include various value additions to cater to ever-demanding consumer needs,” he said.
To mark International Tea Day, the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre set up a kiosk at its premise that offered free tea.
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Finance Minister Ajanta Neog, in her Budget speech for 2023-24, had said roadshows will be held in major cities across the country as well as abroad to promote Assam Tea and showcase the rich socio-cultural heritage of tea garden communities.
She had also announced a special enhanced production subsidy for orthodox and specialty teas, and waived off arrear electricity dues of the families of tea garden workers living in the labour lines.
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