MAHMORA: BJP top gun Himanta Biswa Sarma today intimidated tea garden owners to pay daily wages to the workers at the revised rate or “get ready to face dire consequences”.
Addressing an election rally here today, the state finance minister said the BJP government has revised daily wages from Rs 96 to Rs 217.
“Before Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, the daily wage of tea workers was Rs 96. Now we have revised it to Rs 217. Few garden owners have moved the court in connivance with the Congress against the revision. I would like warn tea garden owners from here today that they should straight away pay the workers at a rate of Rs 217.
“Else if they keep dilly-dallying in collusion with the Congress, they will be made to pay at a rate of Rs 350. No nexus will be tolerated in this respect. Pay them straight away or get ready to face dire consequences,” Sarma intimidated.
The tea workers have been demanding wages at a rate of Rs 351, and the Assam government had on February 20 this year hiked it to Rs 217 from earlier rate of Rs 167. The Congress has promised Rs 365 daily wage to the tea workers.
The Gauhati High Court has on March 16, granted interim relief to the tea estate owners by giving them the liberty to decide if they want to give enhanced wages to workers. The Indian Tea Association and 17 tea companies have challenged the Assam Labour Department notification increasing the wage of the labourers.
The Northeast Democratic Alliance convenor also promised Rs 1000 per month to every bank account of tea workers if the BJP retains power in Dispur.
“In the tea workers’ Dhan Purashkar programme, we have paid Rs 2500 and Rs 3000 in two installments last year. I promise today that we will deposit Rs 1000 to each of the tea worker’s bank account every month from next year,” Sarma said.
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