Skill development centres in tea garden areas must be strengthened: Sonowal

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, July 10: In an attempt to bring in welfare of tea tribe communities in the agenda of priorities and expedite their development, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal asked Directorate for Welfare of Tea tribes to re-activate and strengthen skill development centres in the tea garden areas.

Chairing a meeting at the conference room of his office in Janata Bhawan on Tuesday, Sonowal while reviewing the schemes for the welfare of tea tribe communities in the State, said that the skill development centres in 19 tea garden districts in the state need to be strengthened to render skill development training to the youth. “Enabling the skill centres to live up to their mandate will not only hone the income generating faculty of the youth, but also increase their employability”, Sonowal attributed.

Sonowal also asked Power Minister Topon Kumar Gogoi to ensure electrification of all households in tea garden areas on priority basis under Saubhagya scheme of Government of India. He also asked the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited to install individual meters in the households of tea garden areas.

Moreover, taking a stock of the progress of the schemes meant for the people belonging to tea tribe community being rolled out for their development, chief minister Sonowal asked Tea Tribe Welfare Minister Pallab Lochan Das to develop a fool-proof method to see that no names are left out while transferring benefits under Chah Bagicha dhan Puraskar Mela. He also asked the MLAs belonging to tea tribe dominated areas to see that all rightful beneficiaries get financial benefits under the scheme.

He at the same time asked the tea tribe welfare department to achieve complete target of the schemes like Smart Phone to line sardars in tea gardens, pre-metric scholarship to tea gardens, post metric scholarship, construction of patient guest house at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.

Sonowal also took stock of the implementation of daily wage hike of tea garden workers and bring in parity of the wages in Barak and Brahmaputra Valley. Moreover, the schemes like  Prime Minister Surakshya Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Jiban Jyoti Bima Yojana, under which the tea labourers having bank accounts would be availing of life insurance and the annual premium of Rs 342 per scheme per beneficiary would be paid by the state government have also been discussed. The chief minister asked Principal Secretary Finance to take schemes to their logical conclusion.

Tea Tribes Welfare Minister Pallab Lochan Das, Power Minister Topon Kumar Gogoi, MPs Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Rameswar Teli, MLAs Sanjay Kisan, Terosh Gowala, Principal Secretary to chief minister Sanjay Lohiya, Principal Secretary to finance Samir Sinha, representatives from tea communities, senior officers of the Directorate for Welfare of Tea and Ex Tea Garden Tribes were present at the meeting.

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