Assam tea industry hails budget, opposition unimpressed

February 29th, 2008 - 10:45 pm ICT by admin  


Guwahati, Feb 29 (IANS) The mega tea industry in Assam Friday expressed satisfaction over the allocations in the union budget for tea research and boosting production. “We are happy that the central government has decided to lay stress on research and development in the tea sector and also earmarked funds for revamping tea bushes and improve overall productivity,” Debeswar Bora of the Assam Tea Planters’ Association (ATPA) told IANS.

The 2008-09 budget has allocated Rs.400 million ($10 million) for Special Purpose Tea Fund and Rs.200 million ($5 million) for tea research.

Assam contributes over 50 percent of India’s total tea production of 900 million kg a year. The state has over 800 tea plantations.

The state Congress unit hailed the budget, calling it “pro-people”. “Chidambaram has presented a budget for the aam admi (common man). This is what is expected. The Congress is for the poor,” said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

However, the opposition remained unimpressed. Narayan Borkakoty, a BJP parliamentarian from the state, said the budget has nothing special to offer for Assam.

“The finance minister has presented a budget keeping an eye on the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. We have nothing to cheer about,” Borkakoty said.

Bodo MP S.K. Bwiswmutiary echoed Borkakoty, saying he was “not enthused”.

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