Skip to content Skip to navigation

Small tea growers of Assam face uncertain future

More than sixty five thousand small tea growers of Assam are facing uncertain future due to unilateral decision of state government, imposing surcharge on green tea leaves at the rate of 20 paisa per kg in addition to a fine of Rs 200 per Bigha, with effect from July 1, 2003. For more than three decades since the year 1978, indigenous youths of Assam with their capital and labor established more than 65 thousand small tea gardens in the state. These tea growers through schemes of self-employment, earned livelihood for their families. Besides that, they provided indirect rehabilitation to about nine lakhs people. These tea farmers helped in building socio-economic structure by producing twenty nine percent teas produced in the state of Assam and fourteen percent of India. It also protected the land in use by small tea farming around state tea borders.


Depending upon the green leaves from the small farmers 220 brought-leaves factories came up in the state. The small tea growers have been supplying green leaves to about 300 factories. It is a matter of great regret that even after six decades of independence of the country the indigenous people of this state have not been given settlement of land.


Out of 65,000 unsettled small tea farmers only 3,000 have got registration with the Tea Board of India. These small farmers are in position to get monetary assistance from the financial institutions. In the neighboring Arunachal Pradesh, all small tea growers even got registration with the Tea Board, as they have been given settlement of land. It may be mentioned in this connection that In Tamil Nadu out of 63,000 farmers all are registered with Tea Board.


All Assam Small Tea Growers Association (AASTGA), an organization of small tea growers established in 1987, appealed to the state government, chief minister and high officials, several times and launched agitation, had discussions, but it did not get any fruitful results. All efforts had gone to deaf ears. On the other hand by increasing revenue and fine, the government is trying to deprive them getting even their livelihood.


It may be added in this context that in the budget of 2008-09, there was a proposal to collect surcharge of 20 paisa per kg from the purchaser. But the Assam Taxation (on Specified Land Amendment) Act 2009, this tax is being collected from the small tea growers only. The Brahmaputra Valley tea growers have to pay this tax at the rate of 32 paisa per kg and the Barak Valley farmers @ 29 paisa. In contrast of this the big tea gardens having more than thousand Bigha of land are exempted, while small tea growers having below 75 Bighas are affected by imposition of surcharge at the rate of 20 paisa per kg.


According to Land Reforms Act 1997, the small farmers having land up to 30 Bigha were exempted from all type of taxation. During last decade the rate of tea leaves produced by small farmers was Rs.8 per kg, whereas the production cost of green leaves was Rs.7, 50. The production per Bigha varies from 800 to 1500 kgs. Keeping the average production at 1200 kgs too, the expenditure on production comes to Rs.9,000 and income; Rs.9,600 With this income of Rs.600 per Bigha on 30 Bigha land, total earning comes to Rs.18,000 annually, which is not sufficient to support even a small family.


The AASTGA, representing the small tea growers recently in an interaction with media revealed that the present chief minister, Tarun Gogoi, erstwhile the leader of opposition on September 4, 2000, had assured the agitating small tea growers, that if his government came to power, he would redress all the problems, but after completing two terms as chief minister, he has forgotten those assurances.


Comments

Thomas Ninan's picture

This act will be having a negative economical effect in assams development.As Agricultural income in theses area is too poor,the people do cutivate Tea in high area and more or less its a family affair to educate their chidren in institution outside Assam ,as the educational infrastructure is too poor in Assam. The state is fast comming out of insurgency and the Babus at the helm of this should understand these basic ideas before falling on being tax neutral for the state
christine jeffees's picture

It is a disgrace that the Indian Government allows this to go on. The rest of the world should be informed.

Pages

Add new comment

Random Stories

NRHM employees stages dharna

11 Feb 2015 - 7:07pm | Hantigiri Narzary
Employees from National Rural Health Mission(NRHM) staged dharna demanding regularization of job,immediate rectification of health services mnitoring system,immediate hikes of salaries 20% to 30% at...

Eid-ul-Zuha celebrated

13 Sep 2016 - 5:15pm | Shajid Khan
Along with the rest of the nation  the Muslim people  of the town Eid-ul-Zuha the festival of sacrifice was celebrated with  traditional  gaiety and devotion on Tuesday , with...

ABSU felicitates meritorious students

6 Jun 2017 - 11:58pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau
The All Bodo Students Union(ABSU) expresses serious concern over poor result shown in HS and HSLC final examinations by government run schools in the state. The private managed schools have plying...

Guwahati gears up for car rally

10 Nov 2012 - 4:53am | editor
The much-awaited ASEAN car rally will be flagged off from Guwahati on December 17. Kamrup (metro) district administration, GMC, GDD and PWD departments have been asked to spruce up the entire city...

Other Contents by Author

The Asian Centre for Human Rights in a briefing to media persons at Guwahati Press Club on Friday, alleged that about fifty thousand Garos and Rabhas displaced by conflict since January 1, 2011, are being discriminated in terms of relief and rehabilitation in comparison to assistance being provided to the Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, by the Government of India. Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights, Suhas Chakma said, in terms of rations at the relief camps at Jammu and in Delhi, Kashmiri internally displaced persons are given Rs.1,000 per head per month subject to maximum of Rs.4,000 per family per month plus dry ration. The Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India...
Reacting to some recent announcements by Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, one of his critics said, ‘If assurances, promises, advertisements and laying of foundation stones are the signs of development, then of course Assam is more developed state in comparison to Bihar.’ The critic passed this remark over an elusive speech by the chief minister in a function held in Guwahati recently. It is reported that the chief minister claimed strongly that Assam was more developed state than Bihar. The critic further said that this was a nightmare of the chief minister, who seemed to be ‘jealous’ of the functioning of Bihar government led by Janata Dal (U) leader, Nitish...
News Time Assam, the first 24x7 news channel of Assam was launched in presence of Rose Valley Group Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Gautam Kundu, channel’s Chief Editor, Pratap Bordoloi ,Rosé Valley Group Director, Shivomoy Dutta and Soumendo Das, Business head of Brand Value Communication Ltd, who briefed the media persons on this occasion. With its signal tested two weeks back, the project has been completed in six months with all the permissions from the Central and State governments. The channel has begun with a motto to uplift the aspirations of the rural people, With its launch the News Time Assam has become a major player as a media organization in the North East...
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in Guwahati is functioning in complete anarchy. The telephone users and subscribers keep on running from pallor to post for redress of their grievances every day, but there is not a single person, who can assure the removal of anomalies in the functioning of the department. For instance, a subscriber having telephone connection from BSNL No 0361-2491959 lodged a complaint for repairs of the fault at ‘198’ in the month of May 2010. Since the subscriber is a senior citizen and a freelance journalist, he has got Broadband connection also for his professional activities. Due to faulty telephone neither he was in position to use it nor...
China has constructed two reservoirs of 42 million cubic meter and 31 million cubic meter at Great Band area, which is 60-70 kms away from village Gogring in India, said Jana Jagriti chief, Ashok Anand Singhal. Addressing the media persons at Guwahati recently, Singhal refuted China’s claim that these water reservoirs are the result of landslides. He said, this is not a landslide, but it’s man made. He added that it is well known fact that water storage facilities are needed for power project. Now China is constructing four tunnels. Tunnel one will generate 16,000 MW, while other two tunnels are of 26,600MW (13300 MW) each and fourth tunnel will generate 2,400 MW of electricity...
Farmers in Hojai subdivision of Nagaon district of Assam are spending sleepless nights due to the fear of land mafias, who are conspiring to grab their agricultural land with the help of a few corrupt district officials, said Shiladitya Dev, National Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party Kisan Morcha. Addressing the media persons at Guwahati Press club on December 8 last, he alleged that for the last few months it is noticed that land mafias have been trying to grab the land by fraudulent means and have been utilizing the services of a few government officials in the nefarious deals. In this connection he has already submitted a memorandum to the Chief Secretary, Assam He further said...
‘Proud must have a fall’, is the old proverb universally accepted. Being in power one can boast much and challenge anybody to prove his strength. Assam chief minister, Tarun Gogoi is no exception to it. He has recently challenged Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader, Akhil Gogoi, to prove his strength by contesting elections, which is now-a- days is generally won by money and muscle power. The Chief Minister is well aware that Akhil Gogoi has neither money nor muscle power to win the race. Whether he has support of grass root people or not, was witnessed recently, when he called the people for rallies protesting against administrative corruption and construction of...
Assam Governor, Janaki Ballabh Pattanaik, who recently fell into the bathroom of Dibrugarh circuit house, had to go to All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi for treatment of the fracture .There successful surgery has been done on his ailment. Similarly, when the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi had to go for by-pass surgery, he was advised to go to Mumbai. It all makes the fun of the Assam’s health and family welfare departments, which claims of providing ‘world class’ services in the healthcare sector. It is a question mark on state’s health services? If the publicity through the advertisements of the Assam government in media is to be...
Despite child labor legislation enforced in the country, the children in domestic works are not treated as children at all. The domestic workers below the age of 18 years, who are employed within households to perform chores, can be as young as four or five years old. Children in domestic work are one of the most disturbing factor in our society. It is disturbing because these children are isolated and separated from their family. The high incidence of deceptive recruitment and trafficking characterizes it and exploitative nature of working condition makes the children vulnerable to sexual abuse. The North Eastern Regional Domestic Workers Welfare Trust (NERDWWT), an NGO based in...
Unabated militant activities and delay in creating conducive atmosphere for the peace talks between the Government and militants, comprising the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)’s pro=talk group, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and Dima Halong Daogah (DHD) and others, is the main reason leading to gradual disappointment among the minds of the people of Assam, who are eagerly awaiting for return of peace in the state at any cost. The Union and State governments are watching for an appropriate time to suit their ‘political aims’ fulfilled and make the anti-talk militant groups weaker by the every passing day. Even the militants do not spare a single day,...