Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said 78,286 small tea growers of the state would be provided land pattas (deeds) for their land. Sonowal said this during a meeting here with the representatives of Sadou Asom Khudra Chah Khetiyok Sanstha (All Assam Small Tea Growers Association). The chief minister also discussed various problems afflicting the small tea growers in the state in the meeting where he said small tea industry cannot be allowed to die in the state as it has been giving employment to a large number of people. Rural economy, particularly in upper Assam districts, is heavily dependent on tea cultivation, he said. Urging small tea growers to keep a check on the quality of the tea sold in the market as Indian tea has been going through a tough phase in the international market due to falling quality, Sonowal called on the Association to form a quality control cell and check the quality of tea sold by small tea growers. Assuring the small tea growers about the commitment of the state government to safeguard their interest, Sonowal said Rs one crore has already been allotted for constructing a centre of the small tea growers at Jorhat and steps would be taken for opening a separate centre for small tea growers at Assam Agriculture University. Water Resource Minister Keshab Mahanta, Minister of State for Labour and Employment and Tea Tribes Welfare Pallab Lochan Das, MLAs Tapan Gogoi, Bimal Bora, Rituparna Barua, Additional Chief Secretary for Industries & Commerce Department Ravi Capoor, additional chief secretary for Labour and Employment and Tea Tribes Welfare Rajesh Prasad were also present in the meeting.
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