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The Covid-forced lockdown has plunged mango growers across the country in deep despair.

Date: 29-04-2020
Subject: The Covid-forced lockdown has plunged mango growers across the country in deep despair.
GUWAHATI: Tea Association of India (TAI) stated that complete lockdown effective from the evening of March 24 last has impacted the tea industry seriously, the foremost being a grave liquidity crunch.

In a statement TAI added, “The lock down came close in heels at a time when the industry was gearing to begin the season after the closing of manufacture mandated by the Tea Board. The lock down which was effective till 31st march was further extended to 14th of April 2020”.

Raj Bansal President TAI stated although gardens commenced operations in Assam w.e.f. 10th of April with 50 % of workmen and with 25% workers in west Bengal w.e.f. 12th/13th April, the gardens had to skiff in order to maintain proper plucking table. This has led to loss in manufactured tea. A conservative loss in production projects a loss to the tune of 110mkgs as per projections prepared by the Association with inputs received from M/S J. Thomas & Co Pvt Ltd.

He added that in the backdrop of above scenario, the industry expectantly looking towards certain buoyancy in prices. The deployment of workmen being below the normal strength, the operational problem in continuing with this format is proven to be a grave challenge for the industry. A Financial package in terms of Interest subvention, Enhancement of working capital limit, Relief in payment of Electricity charges and Provident Fund dues have been petitioned before the Union Government and respect ..

He added that the industry remains optimistic at the Export front. The Tea industry acknowledges the Government's response in looking after the industry's' interest both in the states of Assam and West Bengal, and therefore it look forward to assist the industry in quickly achieving the rhythm of normal working operations in the Tea Gardens.

The three Assam based indigenous tea producers’ Associations – Assam Tea Planters’ Association (ATPA), North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) and Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP), have donated Rs 19 Lakhs to Assam Arogya Nidhi fund as support towards the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

“We stand in solidarity with the Government at this hour of unprecedented crisis”, said Dr Nazrana Ahmed, Chairperson, ATPA.

“Tea industry is one of the oldest industries and a mainstream industry of Assam and when our motherland is in crisis, we have come forward to do our bit ”, said Sunil Jallan, Chairman NETA.

“Along with this humble contribution we express our sincere thanks to Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Health Minister, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma”, said Nalin Khemani, Chairman BCP

“Tea industry is highly labour intensive and is one of the largest employers in the organised sector in India. We are proud that there is no tradition of laying-off workers in this 197 years old Assam tea industry, unlike other industries. The jobs of workers & employees are fully secured.” said Bidyananda Barkakoty, Former Vice Chairman of Tea Board of India.

Source:- economictimes.indiatimes.com

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