Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal urges the Government of India to grant ‘Kangra Tea Revival Special Package’ to the State to rejuvenate the traditional Kangra Tea. In a letter written to Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, he said that the matter has been reiterated with his Ministry and Tea Board of India several times but the package was still awaited.
Chief Minister reiterated the resolve of the State Government to rejuvenate Kangra Tea which has taken the shape of emotional issue with the tea planters in the State. He said that leasing out tea gardens either to State Agency or a professional company would not be acceptable to the tea planters. He said that it would be in the interest of the tea planters to link them with some good private company for marketing purposes and ensure remunerative return for the produce. He said that such a move would motivate tea planters to adopt better package of practices and produce good quality tea. He said that majority of tea gardens were in district Kangra where large number of local population was dependant for their livelihood upon tea leave plucking and maintenance of the gardens. He said that a section of a lower strata of the society in the tea cultivation area, was solely dependant for their livelihood on tea gardens and better the marketing prospectus better would be their economic conditions. He reiterated the resolve of the State Government to protect interests of such vulnerable sections of society by helping them work more hard to make tea plantation a viable avocation.
Prof. Dhumal wrote that the State Government had already sent its proposal for a comprehensive package for the revival of Kangra Tea in May, 2010, which included rejuvenation and re-plantation in the existing active and abandoned areas besides identifying new potential areas. He said that the package had several other components and the State Government was expecting that a dialogue would be initiated with the Union Ministry of Commerce. He said that it was clear to all concerned, including officers of Union Ministry of Commerce, that components of the proposed package might not fit into the existing scheme of Tea Board, hence urged for a Special Package. He said that Kangra Tea had earned itself a respectable name in the tea industry and a section of the tea lovers had always been passionate about the traditional Kangra Tea flavours. He urged the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry to get the Kangra Tea Revival Special Package sanctioned for the State which would be in the best interest of the revival of traditional tea industry, tea planters in particular and State in general.