Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal held a meeting with Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha at his residence at Dibrugarh and discussed various challenges faced by the tea industry in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken to overcome those challenges on Friday.
In the meeting, the Chief Minister said the state government has been taking various steps on priority basis to ensure the development of the tea sector as the tea industry is very important for Assam’s economic progress. Thanking the tea community for resuming activities in tea gardens while maintaining social distancing protocols set by the health department, the Chief Minister also appreciated Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha for its role in this regard.
He also said the deputy commissioners have been directed to ensure that labourers in the 14 tea gardens under Assam Tea Company along with other small tea gardens do not have to face any difficulty during the lockdown and he has reiterated that instruction in all the review meetings with the DCs.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister informed that Assam Gas Company Limited has been instructed to forego the minimum demand charge obtainable from the 409 tea gardens in the state for providing gas and he said that this step would greatly help the tea industry in its revival.
The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha, while appreciating Chief Minister’s efforts to develop the tea sector in the state, raised the issue of the 40 thousand permanent and temporary labourers working in the 14 tea gardens under Assam Tea Company.
Welcoming the directive to Assam Gas Company Limited to give up the minimum demand charge receivable from 409 tea gardens for providing gas, Asam Chah Mazdoor Sangha representatives said that the tea community members have been able to get their monthly rations directly from Food Corporation of India for the last two months as against the earlier practice of buying their essentials from the open market. Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha also presented a cheque of Rs 1 lakh 25 thousand to the Chief Minister as a contribution towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.