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Demand to shift Tea Board HQ to Guwahati

By Ajit Patowary

GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - Shifting of the Tea Board of India headquarters to Guwahati should be viewed as an integral part of the Act East Policy of the Government of India. For, the Act East Policy is adopted by the Union Government to provide the northeastern region a viable alternative to emerge as a nerve centre of a huge economic endeavour.

This is the view expressed by the Joint Forum of the Assam Tea Planters� Association (ATPA), North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) and Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP).

The Joint Forum is also of the opinion that Assam is the birthplace of tea in India and as per the latest statistics, Assam alone produces over 52 per cent of the country�s total tea. But the Tea Board has not been headquartered in Assam, even though the headquarters of the coffee, rubber, spices and tobacco boards of the country are located in the states of their birth or in the states that produce these items the most.

The latest figures of the Tea Board have it that West Bengal contributes about 25 per cent, while Tamil Nadu contributes about 15 per cent, Kerala about six per cent, Karnataka 0.5 per cent and other states contribute 1.4 per cent to the total amount of tea the country produces. Moreover, there are two lakh small tea growers in India, Assam alone accounting for more than half these numbers.

The Tea Board was headquartered in Kolkata at a time when tea was a major export commodity from India. But nowadays, 85 per cent of India�s tea is consumed in the domestic market.

Under such a situation, the focus of the Tea Board should be shifted to quality improvement of the Indian tea and to attain success in this matter, it should shift its base to the largest tea growing part of the country.

Again, India�s largest CTC tea auction centre is in Guwahati. Guwahati is also envisaged to be the hub of India�s Act East Policy.

The total employees of the Tea Board should be proportionately distributed and posted in the tea growing states depending upon the amount of their area under tea cultivation, said the Joint Forum.

Locating Tea Board headquarters in Calcutta, now Kolkata, was a historical mistake, which should be corrected now, said Gauhati University Vice Chancellor Dr Mridul Hazarika, who was earlier connected with the Tocklai Tea Research Institute as its Director.

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Demand to shift Tea Board HQ to Guwahati

GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - Shifting of the Tea Board of India headquarters to Guwahati should be viewed as an integral part of the Act East Policy of the Government of India. For, the Act East Policy is adopted by the Union Government to provide the northeastern region a viable alternative to emerge as a nerve centre of a huge economic endeavour.

This is the view expressed by the Joint Forum of the Assam Tea Planters� Association (ATPA), North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) and Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP).

The Joint Forum is also of the opinion that Assam is the birthplace of tea in India and as per the latest statistics, Assam alone produces over 52 per cent of the country�s total tea. But the Tea Board has not been headquartered in Assam, even though the headquarters of the coffee, rubber, spices and tobacco boards of the country are located in the states of their birth or in the states that produce these items the most.

The latest figures of the Tea Board have it that West Bengal contributes about 25 per cent, while Tamil Nadu contributes about 15 per cent, Kerala about six per cent, Karnataka 0.5 per cent and other states contribute 1.4 per cent to the total amount of tea the country produces. Moreover, there are two lakh small tea growers in India, Assam alone accounting for more than half these numbers.

The Tea Board was headquartered in Kolkata at a time when tea was a major export commodity from India. But nowadays, 85 per cent of India�s tea is consumed in the domestic market.

Under such a situation, the focus of the Tea Board should be shifted to quality improvement of the Indian tea and to attain success in this matter, it should shift its base to the largest tea growing part of the country.

Again, India�s largest CTC tea auction centre is in Guwahati. Guwahati is also envisaged to be the hub of India�s Act East Policy.

The total employees of the Tea Board should be proportionately distributed and posted in the tea growing states depending upon the amount of their area under tea cultivation, said the Joint Forum.

Locating Tea Board headquarters in Calcutta, now Kolkata, was a historical mistake, which should be corrected now, said Gauhati University Vice Chancellor Dr Mridul Hazarika, who was earlier connected with the Tocklai Tea Research Institute as its Director.

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