The Assam government on Fridayannounced a Rs 200-crore incentive package for the states teaindustry, including three years exemption of agriculturalincome tax, to give a boost to the sector.
The tea industry in the state is going through adifficult phase for the past few years and the gardens werealso closed due to the lockdown, Finance Minister HimantaBiswa Sarma said.
“The tea industry in the state needs to be bailed outand we are providing four incentives which will ensure thatthey remain financially viable,” he said at a pressconference.
The state government has decided to give a three-yearagricultural income tax holiday and 3 per cent interestsubvention on working capital with a cap of Rs 20 lakh, hesaid.
It is the orthodox tea that is mostly exported and thegovernment has decided that the focus should be on increasingits production, Sarma said.
“The state government has decided to give a subsidy ofRs 7 per kg and with the Tea Boards subsidy of Rs 3 per kg,the total subsidy of Rs 10 per kg will definitely boost theproduction of orthodox tea, leading to an increase inexports,” the minister said.
A capital subsidy of 25 per cent will also be givenby the state government for the setting up of plant andmachinery required for the production of orthodox tea, hesaid.
“The total cost incurred by the state government willbe Rs 200 crore and we are making these announcements with theexpectation that the garden authorities will ensure smoothpayment of Durga Puja bonus to its workers without anyunnecessary disputes,” Sarma said.
The state-owned Assam Tea Corporation has alreadyannounced a bonus of 20 per cent for the workers of thegardens under it and hoped that other gardens will ensure thesame, he said.
The state government has also decided to increase themonthly ration allowance of constables of Assam Police to Rs2,000 from Rs 1,200, and this will be expanded to the forestpolice battalion as well, the minister said.
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