Birendra Prasad Baishya raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha, saying tea consumption had become a way of life in the country. “Tea is not just a product or commodity but a culture... The word ‘chai’ reverberates from east to west and from north to south,” Baishya pointed out while drawing attention to the issue.
“Tea has contributed immensely to the economic growth and social developments in India,” he added. According to him, 83 per cent of all households in India consumes tea. This is increasing at the rate of 3 per cent annually.
“India is the biggest producer of Black Tea in the world with a turnover of Rs 10,000 crore annually,” he said.
Baishya also spoke about the medicinal qualities of tea. “I therefore urge the government to declare tea as the national drink of India,” he said. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had said earlier that the state would urge the central government to declare tea as the national drink.