‘Budget has no stimuli for Assam tea industry’

March 16th, 2012 - 6:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Guwahati, March 16 (IANS) Assam’s tea industry Friday voiced unhappiness at the at the budget for 2012-13 saying it has no stimuli for the sector.

Experts in the field said they had hoped the budget presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in parliament Friday would look into issues concerning the tea industry, one of the major revenue earners for the state.

“It is a routine sort of budget. There is no stimuli for the tea industry, which the industry has been expecting,” chairman of North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) Bidyananda Barkakoty told IANS Friday.

“We, on behalf of the industry have mainly demanded that the central government share the social security costs, which the tea gardens have to bear while running gardens. However, there was nothing in the budget regarding this,” he lamented.

Assam tea which contributes 51 percent of India’s total tea production is suffering due to heavy burden of social costs. The industry employs about a million people, both permanent and casual in over 800 tea gardens in Assam. The gardens have to bear the burden of huge social costs due to the large workforce engaged in it and paying for the social infrastructure, including subsidized ration, housing, medical and educational expenses.

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