Surma Valley, the branch of Indian Tea Association has raised their concern over the increase of production cost of tea up to 40 percent. It is not comparable with the rate of tea in market, in the last four years.
The reports obtained from the general meeting held at Silchar. This issue was discussed in the branch’s 118th annual general meeting.
ITA vice-chairman and Jayashree Tea and Industry Limited’s managing director D.P. Maheswari said, “The government has increased labourers’ wages but stopped the supply of essential food items to the gardens under subsidy. This has increased the cost of production.”
Maheswari also said, “The demands of increasing the export incentive from 5 percent to 11 percent on tea has also been voiced by the producers.” Whereas, the price of tea in the market has not increased remarkably this is a matter of great concern for the growers. He also said, “The amount of consumption of tea per family should be increased up to minimum 1kg and then only the growers would be able extend the business in larger scale.”
One of the other major concerns is coal trade. The tea gardens are purchasing coal from outside the Northeast in higher rate as the National Green Tribunal has banned coal trade in Meghalaya.
The government also increased the interim relief of labourers by Rs 30 with effect from March 1, 2018.