DIBRUGARH, Aug 20 - Going by the fact that the small tea growers are not receiving returns as per the bench mark prices fixed in each district, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) today demanded that the Small Tea Grower’s Development Directorate fix the minimum support price for green tea leaves at minimum of Rs 35.
While storming the head office of the Small Tea Grower’s Development Directorate at Amollapatty here today, the leaders of the organization said that the small tea growers were suffering from the price fluctuations for long and, therefore, the Directorate must intervene immediately.
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Sammittee (KMSS) led by its founder general secretary and convener of Gana Mukti Sangram, Akhil Gogoi staged a demonstration in front of the head office of the Small Tea Growers Development Directorate after marching from the Natya Mandir campus in Amolapatty amid inclement weather.
The Krishak Mukti Sangram Sammittee set September 1, 2015 as the deadline for the hike in the minimum support price of green tea leaves. Till the fixation is made, Akhil Gogoi said that the Directorate must ensure that the bench mark price fixed at the district is followed by all green tea leaves buyers. “As per government notification, it is mandatory for the tea factories to adhere to the bench mark prices and there should be no compromise on this,” Gogoi has said.
It must be mentioned here that the minimum bench mark price has been fixed at more than Rs 17 for the month of August but the growers are getting below Rs 14. In several parts of Dibrugarh district, the growers are getting merely Rs 12 for per kg of their produce in the current month.
The peasant organization also demanded that the small tea growers be provided pattas without any premium for their lands. Besides, all existing land leases or any other such garden lands must be provided with permanent land lease, the KMSS leaders said.
The organization has also demanded financial support for the small tea growers.
“Like the tea estates, small tea growers must also enjoy subsidy and special fund allocations,” Akhil Gogoi said. Among other demands, the KMSS has asked the government to ensure establishments of more tea factories and to stop the present system of cess levied on per kilo of leaves of small tea growers.