APPL corporate office will not be relocated from Assam, says Union minister Teli
Union minister Rameswar Teli has said that the authorities of Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd (APPL), a frontline tea company known earlier as Tata Tea Limited, have informed the Centre that the APPL corporate office in Guwahati would not be moved to Kolkata.
Speaking to newsmen on Sunday, Teli, said that the Union Industry and commerce minister, Piyush Goyal had informed him over the phone that a meeting was held with the top brass of APPL and that the tea company has assured that the corporate office would not be relocated from Guwahati to Kolkata.
“The corporate office of APPL will remain in Guwahati. Authorities of APPL have also been asked to invest more in Assam in the future,” he said.
In a statement to the media on Saturday, APPL had reiterated that “it remains firmly committed to the state of Assam”.
“Most of our employees, 12,000 of whom are shareholders of our Company, are from Assam. We continue to maintain our main operating office in Guwahati and have 21 tea estates/ operating units across Assam, employing almost 50,000 people (including seasonal workers),” the company stated.
“We have invested substantially in two tea processing units at Hattigor and Lattakoojan tea estates and in a spice processing centre near Misa,” it informed.
“Besides business investments and employment opportunities, we run various community welfare initiatives for livelihood, education, skill development and healthcare, that have positively impacted the lives of about 2.5 lakh people in the state over the last five years,” APPL informed.
“We are saddened by the recent allegations and their tonality, based on a misplaced understanding of our efforts in the state. We will seek intervention of the authorities to protect the interests of our employees and facilities in Assam,” it added.
Militant outfit, ULFA-I (United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent) had on April 8 threatened “to prevent Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd (formerly Tata Tea Limited) of doing business in Assam, if the tea company did not take immediate steps to relocate all its administrative offices to Assam and recruit indigenous people.”
(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)