Kolkata: To secure better working conditions for plantation workers, the Tea Board has approved a proposal to provide subsidies for drinking water schemes and rainwater harvesting projects.
    
At its 220th board meeting held on Tuesday, the Board, which functions under the Union Ministry of Commerce, granted 40 per cent subsidy on capital investment for piped and metered drinking water schemes and 70 per cent subsidy for rainwater harvesting projects and storage tanks.
    
A pilot project for supply of filtered drinking water to individual households of tea garden workers in Sonitpur district of Assam has also been approved, a communique from the statutory body said.
    
In order to encourage overseas buyers to use registered marks for teas of Indian origin and also to popularise these logos among consumers abroad, the board has decided to waive off a part of user fees for India Tea, Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri and other such logos.
    
Tea Board chairman M G V K Bhanu said, "All companies using our logos should be made to conform to strict quality standards. We are working towards ensuring strict compliance of these logos so that buyers overseas can distinguish our logos as the hallmark of quality Indian tea".
    
The board also approved proposals to provide better academic opportunities to the children of tea garden workers in the form of educational stipends, book grants, coaching and hostel fees for entry at IIT/IIM/Civil Services, provision of bicycles for girl students attending higher secondary schools, the communique added.

(Agencies)

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