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Tripura BJP MP writes to Amit Shah, seeks inclusion of state’s tea growers in Central scheme

While lauding the Union budget, which she said was in line with the Centre’s vision of Atmanirbharta (self-sufficiency) and had the welfare of all sections at its core, the MP wrote that over 15,000 labourers are associated with the tea industry of Tripura, of which around 50 per cent are women.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
February 3, 2021 9:29:34 pm
Assam, Tea garden workersWorkers at a tea garden in Golaghat district of Assam. (Express photo by Abhishek Saha)

Day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed Rs 1,000 crore-package for tea garden workers, especially women and children, in Assam and West Bengal, Tripura Lok Sabha MP Pratima Bhowmik on Wednesday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking inclusion of workers from her state under the same scheme.

While lauding the Union budget, which she said was in line with the Centre’s vision of Atmanirbharta (self-sufficiency) and had the welfare of all sections at its core, the MP wrote that over 15,000 labourers are associated with the tea industry of Tripura, of which around 50 per cent are women.

“I am glad that the government has announced a special scheme amounting to Rs 1,000 crores for the tea workers of West Bengal and Assam. You may kindly be aware that the State of Tripura also has 48 (33 nos private, 12 nos cooperative and 3 nos Govt tea estate) functional tea estates”, the BJP MP wrote.

Seeking inclusion of all tea garden workers from her state in the scheme, Bhowmick wrote, “I am confident that this Budget will enhance ‘ease of living’ for the common man by simplifying procedure and rules. It will bring positive changes for individuals, investors, industry and infrastructure sectors.”

Going back more than a hundred years, Tripura’s tea industry mainly brews the CTC variety of the beverage. It has carved a niche for its own products in recent years, with stress on organic tea, green tea, white tea and other brands of exotic teas.

The state has 58 operational tea gardens, of which 42 are individually-owned, three are run by the Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) and 13 are operated by cooperative societies. Around 3,000 small growers also run their tea gardens with government support. A total 6,885 hectares of land is currently under tea cultivation in Tripura.

The state is estimated to produce 3.58 crore kg green tea leaves annually, of which 88 lakh Kg “made tea” (processed tea) is manufactured at different processing plants. Majority of this bulk is produced and sold by privately-owned tea estates.

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