Amid cases of lessees selling tea gardens leased out to them, the Assam government today said it will consider proposals of setting up other industries in the allotted lands, but will not allow sale of those properties.
Replying to a query by BJP MLA Sanjoy Kishan during the Question Hour, Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said the government has received complaints of selling of lands by tea garden owners that were leased out to them for tea cultivation only. "Nobody can sell land for tea gardens. However, if one wants to set up a new industry in that land, we will consider that.
The government had approved such proposals earlier," Patowary said in the House during the ongoing Budget Session of the Assam Assembly. BJP members Rituparna Baruah and Siddhartha Bhattacharya alleged that tea garden lands are being sold off illegally and demanded a high-level probe into it. Reacting to the discussion, Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said, "We should ensure that tea industry does not die.
Diversification is alright and can be done as and when needed. But it should not be done at the cost of tea garden workers." Patowary informed the House that the government is taking steps to protect the tea garden lands from unauthorised sale by the owners.