The Assam government agreed on Friday, after months of legal and administrative wrangling, to enhance the daily salary of over ten lakh tea plantation employees by Rs 38, authorities said.
Increased remuneration for the state’s over 10 lakh tea garden laborers was one of the most polarising campaign themes leading up to the state’s three-phase Assembly elections in March and April.
According to officials, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma met with members of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha and other tea organizations on Friday to address wage-fixing concerns.
“‘Tea workers in the Brahmaputra Valley would get Rs 205, a 167 percent rise over current rates, while tea workers in the Barak Valley (southern Assam) would get Rs 183, a 145 percent rise over current rates “According to an official of the Assam Chief Minister’s Office.
He said that starting February 23, pay for tea workers will be boosted in response to a long-standing demand from several tea organizations.
The government increased the daily salary by Rs 50 in February, from Rs 167 to Rs 217. The verdict, however, was unable to be implemented owing to long court challenges.
The meeting was also attended by Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Tea Tribe Welfare Minister Sanjay Kisan, Lok Sabha Member Pallab Lochan Das, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Samir Kumar Sinha, and President of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha Paban Singh Ghatowar.
After assuming power in Assam in 2016, the BJP-led state government boosted tea estate laborers’ monthly remuneration by Rs 30.
Assam produces around 55% of India’s total tea output of 1,389.70 million kg, with 856 large tea plantations and over a lakh small tea producers employing more than 10 lakh people.