Tea industry hails CM’s declaration
GUWAHATI, Nov 22 – The declaration of Chief Minister recognizing tea as the State Drink of Assam has overwhelmed the State’s Tea industry with joy. The declaration of the Chief Minister to this effect came at the inaugural function of the three-day World Tea Science Congress organised as part of the centenary celebration of the Tocklai Experimental Station (TES) at Jorhat. It was received with thunderous applause by the guests and invitees of the Congress, said Bidyananda Barkakoty, Chairman of the North Eastern Tea Association.
The Tea Science Congress is attended by around 1,000 delegates and invitees from different parts of the globe and the country as well.
Immediately after the inaugural function of the Congress, C S Bedi, Chairman Consultative Committee of Plantations Associations (CCPA) thanked Gogoi for the declaration, on behalf of the entire tea industry.
A joint delegation of Assam Tea Planters’ Association (ATPA), North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) and Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP) also thanked the Chief Minister for his declaration.
It requested the Chief Minister to persuade the Union Government to grant the status of National Drink to the brew. The Chief Minister told the members of the delegation that the State Drink status is a step forward towards persuading the Union Government for declaring the brew as the National Drink of the country, Barkakoty said.
Meanwhile, the National Federation of Small Tea Growers, India and the All Assam Small Tea Growers’ Association have also welcomed the declaration made by the Chief Minister in this regard.
It needs mention here that in 2004, the tea industry was in deep crisis. In order to understand and overcome this crisis, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry organised a stakeholders’ conference on September 16 and 17, 2004 in Delhi. The conference put forward 26 recommendations and one of them was for declaring tea as the National Drink of the country. Though most of the conference recommendations are accepted by the Union Government, the one on the National Drink status to the brew remains to be accepted by it.
Source: Assam Tribune