The government of Assam said that a Tea Park with all facilities is being set up in Guwahati and packagers and buyers from the country must avail them to help in development of the tea industry in the State.
"The state government is setting up a Tea Park near the airportin Guwahati with all types of facilities required and buyers as well as packagers must come so that the industry in the state develops further," State Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary today.
He said this at the day-long North East Tea Conclave and Expo organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here. "If buyers and packagers from the rest of the country come to Assam and help our producers here with their requirements, it will go a long way in developing the tea industry in the state," he said. Assam government is committed to help the tea industry, particularly small tea growers, in all possible manner and have already asked the Tea Board to simplify the process of setting up of small or medium factories, he said.
"The Tea Board has asked small tea growers to form Self Help Groups (SHG) so that they can be given subsidy which will help in sustaining these growers," Patowary said. According to the Assam Directorate of Tea, there are 79,000 small tea growers in the state, though unofficially it is more than a lakh and group of small tea growers can form a SHG to up small or medium factories with the subsidy, he said.
"The State government aims to develop the industry so that unemployed youths are absorbed and I appeal to big tea planters to support the small tea growers by ensuring that they get cost effective prices for the bought leaf," the Minister said.
In Assam, 45 lakh people are engaged directly or indirectly in tea (business) and it is a single sector industry in any state, Patowary said, adding that "though we once enjoyed monopoly, now many countries are producing and we are participating in a competitive level."
The Minister further said, "Assam Tea, however, has sustained due to quality and it is a matter of pride for us that most species grown globally has gone from the state. In this manner we are a big player in the world stage." In a lighter note, he said tea is a very lucky product as it can make a person "just not a millionaire, but also a Prime Minister" (apparently referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Chaiwalla antecedent).
The Minister further said the state government was committed to ensure industrial development of the state. "In the first Assembly session of the new government, I had placed the Ease of Doing Business Bill and it was passed and I have also taken the initiative to convince the Centre to restore the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIPP)," he added.