Election ahead, tea workers’ pay up

Election ahead, tea workers’ pay up

Assam Congress chief Ripun Bora collects traditional gamosa from a household carrying an anti-CAA message in Guwahati. PTI

Guwahati, February 20

With state elections round the corner, the Assam Cabinet on Saturday approved a proposal to increase the daily wage of tea garden workers in the state to Rs 318, including Rs 101 for ration. Tea estate labourers in the state will get a daily wage of Rs 217, a hike from Rs 167, and also receive Rs 101 for ration, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said after the meeting.

The wage revision has become a political issue in the state with the opposition Congress accusing the BJP-led government of failing to increase the daily income of the plantation workers. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has promised to increase the daily wage to Rs 365, if voted to power.

Assam has over 10 lakh tea labourers in the organised sector, working in around 800 estates, and the northeastern state contributes about 52 per cent of the country’s annual production.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in the Budget that the Centre would provide Rs 1,000 crore for the welfare of tea workers, especially women and their children in West Bengal and Assam.

The Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, also gave its nod to a proposal to set up a one-member committee for fixing an equal wage of small tea garden workers.

Principal Secretary, Labour, JB Ekka will be the only member on the panel. — PTI

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