The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) has demanded setting up of a tea ministry for the revival of the tea industry in the state.
Participating in the 63rd foundation day of the ACMS at its headquarters in Dibrugarh on Monday, ACMS president and former DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar said that setting up a tea ministry in Assam is a rightful demand of the people of Assam as the 195-year-old tea industry provides livelihood to millions of people.
“Tea is one of the major contributors to the state’s economy and millions of people are involved in the tea industry in Assam. When the state can have a ministry for fisheries why can’t we have a ministry of tea. The government and policy makers should come forward to give shape to the idea. Infact, a tea ministry should have been formed a long time ago considering the importance of the tea industry in the state. It is the largest employment generating industry, providing livelihood to lakhs of people,” ACMS president Paban Singh Ghatowar said.
Assam contributes to nearly 51 per cent of tea produced in the country. However stagnant prices, deficit rainfall and the Covid-19 pandemic has left the state’s tea industry in a limbo.
In 2019, the annual tea production in Assam was 716.49 million kg which was down to 618.20 million kg in 2020, a 14% drop owing to lockdown.