The Assam government put forward four new schemes for the tea gardens industry on Friday, September 25. These are going to focus on ensuring that tea gardens produce more of the orthodox variety instead of CTC (Crush, Tear and Curl). Orthodox tea involved plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation and drying. On the other hand, CTC involves letting leaves pass through rollers. While the orthodox variety costs more to make, it is still 100% export and thus beneficial overall, according to Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The following list describes the new schemes for the Assam tea gardens:
- Tea gardens that took a working capital loan will now get a 3% interest subvention each year, capping at Rs.20 lakh.
- Each kg of orthodox tea will have a subsidy of Rs.7, which is additional to the Rs.3 that was already there. Thus, the total subsidy is now Rs.10 per kg.
- The state government will provide a 35% capital subsidy on any machinery for manufacturing orthodox tea.
- Tea garden will get an agricultural income tax holiday for three years.
Furthermore, workers will get a 20% bonus if they work on Durga Puja.
The tea industry in Assam took a grave hit during the pandemic, and its sale dropped by around 25%. Meanwhile, the low supply meant that prices hiked. Assam produced only 223 million kg of tea from January to July this year, and fact about 274 million kg last year. Hence, the new schemes aim to improve sales and bring the industry to its normal.
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