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July 12, 2018

Bengal CM flays Centre for not fulfilling promise of taking over 7 tea gardens

Bengal CM flays Centre for not fulfilling promise of taking over 7 tea gardens

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today chaired a meeting regarding the condition of tea gardens in north Bengal. The meeting was held at Uttarkanya.

At the end of the meeting, she announced that the government has given clearance to the wage-hike of workers and formed a committee to find a solution to the problems facing tea industry.

She also attacked the Centre for failing to fulfill its promise of taking over 7 tea gardens. The promise was made by a Union Minister during 2016 Assembly election campaign.

Highlights of the Chief Minister’s press meet:

  • We have allocated more than 1000 crore for the welfare of tea garden workers since 2011.
  • We need a permanent solution to the problem of tea gardens.
  • Some trade unions are calling bandhs for their vested political interests
  • Centre had promised to take over 7 tea gardens before 2016 elections. It was a lie for garnering votes. The tea garden owner went to court, got the tea garden declared ‘abandoned’ and workers are suffering. Centre must withdraw the notification.
  • Some owners open their ‘abandoned’ tea gardens for some days, and close it down again.
  • We have formed an expert committee under the leadership of our Chief Secretary. They will submit a report within 3 months.
  • There are 2.72 lakh workers in tea gardens and 8 lakh non-workers who leave in tea gardens.
    We give 35 kg rice at Rs 2 per kg, electricity, water supply to tea gardens.
  • We have increased wages of tea garden workers after coming to power. The cash component has now become Rs 159. We have given interim relief of Rs 17.50.
  • Lease of abandoned tea gardens which are closed, will be cancelled and they will be auctioned.
  • We will take action against organisations which don’t pay PF and gratuity.
  • We will focus on ICDS through community development programmes.
  • Non-workers in tea gardens will be given skill development training. They will be given training in poultry farming, rearing hens, ducks etc.
  • Tea tourism is also under consideration.
  • Peace prevails in the Hills. People are happy and in peace. We will observe the birth anniversary of Bhanu Bhakta Acharya in the Hills tomorrow.