GUWAHATI, Feb 8 - The All Assam Small Tea Growers’ Association (AASTGA) has hailed the announcement made by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma yesterday in his budget speech to accord permanent settlement rights to the small tea growers (STGs) of the State on the government land they are occupying, as a historic one.
The Finance Minister, in his budget speech, had announced that the government would accord permanent settlement to the STGs on the plots of government land they are occupying against a premium to be charged at the rate of Rs 1,000 per bigha. The STGs of the State have been agitating for the past several years for grant of permanent settlement rights to them on the plots of government land they have brought under cultivation.
The AASTGA, in a statement, has also welcomed Sarma’s announcement to reduce the green tea leaf cess to 10 paisa per kilogram as an encouraging step. Besides, the Finance Minister has taken another laudable step by making an allocation of Rs 17 crore for the training centre proposed for the STGs at the Assam Agricultural University (AAU), said the AASTGA.
The association said that all these could be possible because of the positive approach of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal towards the development of the STG sector.
Moreover, the State Industries Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta have also done a lot for development of this sector, said the AASTGA in its statement.