Darjeeling, Oct 17 (IANS) A Special Purpose Tea Fund (SPTF) is on the anvil to help in replanting of old tea bushes over a targeted area of over 2,00,000 hectares in Darjeeling district of north Bengal.
The fund plan was mooted to combat the problems being faced by tea planters here in uprooting and replanting tea bushes.
Though re-plantation is the need of the hour, the high cost involved in the process is a major hurdle. However, the union ministry of commerce and industry has assured the planters that the issue is high on the agenda of both the central government and the Tea Board.
'To ensure that resource constraints do not come in the way of large scale development activity, the government is considering a proposal for setting up a special purpose tea fund,' reads the letter written by Aditi Das Rout, director, plantations, ministry of commerce and industry, to All Gorkha Students' Union (AGSU).
The letter has been faxed to the apolitical students' body in reply to queries made on the issue of compulsory re-plantation and the subsidy or loan to be provided for the same.
The ministry has maintained that the demand is being considered and certain proposals are being discussed.