Guwahati, May 4: Assam planter Prabhat Kamal Bezboruah is the new chairman of Tea Board of India. He is the first planter to become chairman of the board since its inception.
The board at present is functioning as a statutory body under the ministry of commerce.
The appointments committee of the cabinet had approved his tenure, an order issued by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) said today.
Bezboruah, 58, is from Jorhat. He will have a tenure till November 1, 2018.
Under the present new rules, the chairman of the board will be only a titular head while the deputy chairman is the executive head.
"It is certainly a proud moment for us and it brings lots and lots of hope for Tocklai and the tea industry. He is a progressive and dashing leader," director of the Tocklai Tea Research Institute A.K. Barooah told The Telegraph.
The president of the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers' Association, Bijoygopal Chakraborty, said: "It is good that a planter has become chairman of the Tea Board as he knows the state of the industry and the kind of problems and challenges it faces. He is a competent person and deserves it."
Officials in the tea industry said Bezboruah can guide the industry on a lot of issues and can influence policy-making.
Talking to The Telegraph tonight, Bezboruah said: "It is a huge responsibility. Hope I can work for the interest of all stakeholders and also all tea-growing states. But of course, other things being equal, the interest of Assam will be a priority for me."
Bezboruah was born in Chennai to Sharada Nair and Nil Kamal Bezboruah.