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Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha on Sunday said his government will try its best to push for establishing a tea auction centre in the state to provide better marketing facility for the tea planters.
Currently, Tripura tea planters send their finished tea to either Guwahati or Kolkata auction centre to sell their product pushing the cost of tea.
"The government will try its best to set up a tea auction centre in the state so that tea planters can sell their products here. Once implemented this will bring down the transportation cost of finished product", he said after inaugurating Tripura's first gas-based tea processing unit in West Tripura district's Durgabari Tea Estate.
Saha said the northeastern state produces 9-10 lakh kg tea annually which is 10 per cent of the county's total tea production. Tripura is the fifth state in terms of tea production in the country.
The CM said steps would be taken to export tea to Bangladesh because the state has already started producing quality tea. "The tea price has been enhanced from Rs 147 per kg to Rs 274 per kg at the auction centre. It shows tea produced in the state is gaining ground in the auction centre", he said.
Laying emphasis on modernization and better packaging facility for all-round development of tea industry, Saha said tea labourers were used as 'vote box'. "The present government is trying hard to bring out the oppressed tea workers from 'vote box' by extending all possible support to the tea planters and small tea growers", he said.
Assuring that the government has been extending full support to the century-old tea industry, the chief minister said Rs 85 crore scheme for overall development of the people engaged in tea industry has also been unfolded.
"The government has already initiated a process to provide a plot measuring 2 ganda' to each tea labourer living in different tea estates", he said, adding that plans are afoot to provide ration cards to the tea labourers.
Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) chairman Santosh Saha highlighted the good works for the development of tea industry since 2018.
"The wage of tea labourers has increased from Rs105 in 2017-18 FY to Rs 176 in 2022-23. The switch over from coal-based tea processing to gas-based tea processing is indeed a landmark move for the state's tea industry", he said.