Siliguri, Mar 12 (ANI): Traders in West Bengal's Siliguri District hope that the government will introduce measures to safeguard their interests and provide impetus to tea exports when budget proposals for fiscal 2012-13 are announced.
The trade unions emphasized that there was need to set up a proper monitoring committee, which would ensure that the funds are appropriately utilized.
"Every time, when the budget is about to be presented, we expect the government to do something new for the tea industry. However, it has been observed that the government the government has not done enough for the tea industry," said Kamal Tiwari, a trader.
We want that the government should provide all kinds of assistance in the development of the export sector so that it increases. Currently, we are ranked fourth in the export and Sri Lanka, Kenya, China are ahead of us. Till the time the government takes adequate steps, the export sector will continue to face the brunt," he added.
"Secondly, we want that the government should devise some concrete economic policy to develop the tea estates in North Bengal. They should initiate measures for the opening of shops, which remained closed since long. The government should reduce the tax on the machinery, which we use in the tea estates as it will prove beneficial for them," Tiwari further said.
At present there are 317 tea gardens in the Terai-Doars region of North Bengal. Over four hundred thousand people are engaged in this industry and thousands others are indirectly depended on it.
Meanwhile, all India production of tea on a yearly basis at an average is 980 million kilograms and the production of tea in North Bengal is around 230 million kilograms a year and earns lots of foreign money.
The country's tea exports in 2011 fell 3.4 percent to 186.7 million kg, while production rose 2.26 percent to a record high of 988.3 million kg, the state-run Tea Board said in a statement that was issued last month. (ANI)
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