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Sonowal advocates for synergistic approach among stake holders at Tea Conclave in Guwahati
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that tea is the identity of Assam and advocated that there should a synergistic approach among the tea garden management, workers and government to help the sector grow sustainably.
Inaugurating a two-day tea conclave to deliberate on the issues and challenges of tea sector at Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati on Wednesday, Sonowal said that tea industry has been carrying the identity of Assam since the early part of 19th century and all the stake holders must put in their brains and minds for the sector to grow sustainably for auguring a win-win situation for all.
Conceding that the tea industry which is credited for its contributions towards the emergence of the present day infrastructure in Assam, however, has had witnessed a sluggish growth in the recent past and advocated for judicious use of science and technology to restore the global image of Assam tea and make it a house hold name.
He also said that tea industry in Assam is also responsible for lubricating the mechanism of transition from predominantly natural economy to a cash economy and therefore vowed to provide government intervention to help the existing private players to help the industry to flourish and contribute to the socio-economic life of the people of Assam.
Emphasising on the social and economic need to bring back the tea industry on a higher growth trajectory, he asked the tea companies to prepare a roadmap to which government will play the role of catalyst to infuse a new lease of life to the sprawling tea industry in the state. He however, maintained that tea which has so far been used predominantly as drink alone, must go for value-addition to create greater demands of Assam tea around the world.
Sonowal said that for the holistic development of tea industry, the socio-economic condition of the workforce associated with it must be developed. Realising this, Assam government has been working consistently for the betterment of tea workers of the state.
He mentioned that the government has intervened to enhance the maternity leave of women tea workers by six month and during the leave period the expectant mother is entitled to cash relief by Rs 12,000. Moreover, state government in its bid to encourage inclusive development and bring the tea communities within the banking fold has incentivised the tea workers for opening bank accounts during demonetisation period.
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