GUWAHATI, March 13 � The Joint Forum of Assam Tea Planters� Association (ATPA), North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) and Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP) has hailed the announcement of the Chief Minister in the State budget yesterday for 2012-13 fiscal, that the Central government has been requested to declare tea as the National Drink of India.
The Joint Forum in a statement here expressed its deep satisfaction over the fact that the Chief Minister had assured steps to vigorously take up the issue with the Central Government and hoped that the Chief Minister would be able to impress upon the Central Government on the need to declare tea as the National Drink of the country.
Tea undoubtedly deserves this coveted tag. The brew which has been giving Assam a special identity, will bring more prestige for the State if it becomes the National Drink of the country, it said in a communication to the Chief Minister here today.
It reminded the Chief Minister of the fact that Assam, the largest tea producing state of the country, is the place where the march of the Indian tea industry started. Way back on May 8, 1838, 350 pounds of Assam tea was dispatched to London and sold at the India House there on January 10, 1839.
Tea industry is one of the largest employers in the organised sector in India and significantly 50 per cent of its workers are women. India is the largest producer and consumer of black tea in the world.