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Tata Tea’s ‘exit’ from Assam leaves Assam govt red faced

GUWAHATI: At a time when the BJP in Assam has been claiming, even more during the recent election campaigns, that investments are coming in to Assam, one of the major players in Assam’s economy, Amalgamated Plantation Private Limited (APPL), formerly Tata Tea, has all but moved out of the state by relocating its main operating office from Guwahati to Kolkata.

For the sake of investment and exposure, the BJP-led extravagant programmes such as Advantage Assam, Awesome Assam etc. The government also claims that the decline in insurgent activities has been a factor encouraging investment in the state. The BJP also keeps on claiming that Guwahati will become South Asia’s biggest commercial hub in the next five years.

Though the government itself never presented a full-fledged report on investment, job opportunities and others, the reality could not be camouflaged under the hoardings either.

Also Read: Guwahati Bihu Committees Up In Arms Against State Governments COVID-19 SOP

Recently, the report of APPL’s decision to shift their main operating office from here to Kolkata created ripples.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association (ATTSA) and The United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) have registered their protest against the company’s decision.

Union minister of state for food processing industries Rameshwar Teli along with fellow Union minister Piyush Goyal appealed to Ratan Tata to revoke the decision.

Although Teli has claimed that following their request, the company has agreed not to shift the office from Guwahati, a highly placed source in Dispur confirmed InsideNE that no decision has been taken so far on the matter.

“The BJP leaders have made an appeal but no response has been received yet. Moreover, the office has already almost been shifted,” the source told InsideNE wishing anonymity.

“Overall it’s business for Tata. No company wants to face loss, and the recent incident with Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd has also created a fear psychosis in the corporate sector. But if the state government’s top brass puts its foot down, there is a chance of the company reversing its decision,” the sources added.

In a recent press release, the APPL has broken their silence over the matter and said they are “firmly committed to the state of Assam”. The release came after ULFA (I) warned APPL of dire consequences if the company shifts from Assam and do not hire locals.

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