Agri Business

Indian Tea Association, CII welcome sops to tea sector in Assam budget

Our Bureau Guwahati. March 7 | Updated on March 07, 2020 Published on March 07, 2020

The Indian Tea Association (ITA) and apex chambers CII and FICCI welcomed Assam government’s initiative to improve the quality of life of tea workers and offer sops to the tea plantation sector to tide over the difficult times.

In his Budget proposal for 2020-21, Assam finance minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that the 7.21 lakh tea labourers will get ₹50,000 each as payment of gratuity on retirement. The budget was submitted on March 6.

This apart the third tranche of ongoing financial support of ₹3,000 each will be paid through bank transfer. Also, tea gardens will get substantial share of the government’s fresh rural development initiatives. This includes construction of over 100 high schools in tea estates.

The plight of tea workers and their inadequate access to civic amenities had been a long-debated issue. Accordingly, the interventions were much required.

However, to help the industry the government announced Orthodox (tea) production subsidy of ₹7 a kg. This coupled with subsidy on Orthodox machinery to manufacturing units that are commencing operations after April 1, 2020 is expected to improve returns of planters.

On the one hand, shift to orthodox may improve export opportunities. On the other hand, production cut in CTC may go a long way in correcting the demand-supply imbalance, thereby improving CTC prices.

Assam has also announced three per cent interest subvention on term loans and working capital loans. However, the modalities are yet to be worked out.

ITA termed the State government’s decision to launch ‘Tea Mission’ a visionary step that would help in long-term financial sustainability of the industry.

According to S K Barua, chairman of CII North Eastern Council, the three-year tax holiday on agricultural income coupled with subsidy for orthodox production will provide a big boost to the plantation sector.

Ranjit Barthakur, chairman of FICCI North East Advisory Council, said for the first time Assam recognized the problems faced by the tea industry.

Published on March 07, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.