Guwahati, Sep 25 (UNI) The Assam government today declared 20% bonus for workers of its tea gardens, while also announcing several schemes in the form of interest subvention and capital subsidy for private tea gardens in the state, especially targeting the orthodox tea production. State Finance Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said here that workers of gardens under Assam Tea Corporation Ltd (APCL) will receive 20% bonus for Durga Puja this year.
The fund will be provided under the state Budget as APCL is not in a position to bear the financial burden, he added.
The minister also appealed to the private tea gardens to declare similar bonus for their workers, pointing that the state government has come up with a number of schemes for the tea industry to help them tide over the difficult phase the industry has been going through in the past few years.
He appreciated the role of the tea garden managements in providing ration to the workers even when work was halted in the initial phases of the COVID 19-induced lockdown.
Among the schemes for the industry announced by the minister is providing 3% interest subvention on working capital, with a cap of Rs 20 lakh per annum, borrowed from commercial banks.
Agriculture income tax holiday for three years was also announced for the tea industry by Dr Sarma.
Further, the minister said the state government will pay subsidy of Rs 7 per kg of orthodox tea that is exported from the state, with effect from April 1 this year, which will be in addition to Rs 3 per kg subsidy provided by the Tea Board of India.
Moreover, 25% capital subsidy for purchase of machinery to produce orthodox tea will also be provided by the state government.
Dr Sarma added that the state government will be encourage more production of orthodox tea as it has high demand globally.