GUWAHATI, May 21 (PTI): The bicentennial year of Assam Tea will be marked in a grand manner, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday, coinciding with International Tea Day.
He also re-affirmed his government’s commitment to work for the welfare of the tea garden community.
“For 200 years, Assam ki ‘kadak chai’ has powered the day for crores of people across the world,” Sarma wrote on Twitter.
“On #InternationalTeaDay we reiterate our commitment to our 70 lakh strong tea garden community & celebrate the bicentennial year of India’s national beverage in a grand manner,” he added.
State Industry and Commerce Minister Bimal Borah also extended his greetings to the tea community on the occasion.
“On the occasion of #InternationalTeaDay I extend my best wishes and gratitude to all tea workers and entrepreneurs whose consistent efforts have continued to build a strong and robust economy,” Borah wrote on the micro-blogging site.
To mark the International Tea Day, the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre has set up a kiosk at its premise that will offer free tea throughout Sunday.
The state government and Tea Board India has also organised a programme coinciding with the occasion here, while events are also lined up in different parts of the state, especially upper Assam, during the day.
Assam Tea, which contributes over 50 per cent of the tea produced annually in the country, is celebrating its 200th year. It was first discovered growing in the wild in 1823 by Major Robert Bruce.
Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog, in her Budget speech for 2023-24, had said roadshows will be held in major cities across the country as well as abroad to promote Assam Tea as a brand and showcase the rich socio-cultural heritage of tea garden communities.
She had also announced special enhanced production subsidy for orthodox and specialty teas, and waiving off arrear electricity dues of tea garden worker families living in the labour lines.