Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) stated that Assam Government announcement of the increase of daily wage of tea workers to Rs 205/- which is way below the electoral promise of wage increase to Rs 351/- by the BJP in 2016.
AICC General Secretary in charge Assam Jitendra Singh said that the Congress Party had guaranteed an increase of Rs 365/- to tea workers within 6 hours of forming Government. Thus the tea workers ( per person) are now having a loss of Rs 160/- per day. “If we calculate the loss of a tea worker it will be approximately Rs 4500/- every month which means the monthly loss of a tea worker for voting for BJP is Rs 4500/- which would amount to an annual loss of approximately Rs 54,000/- per tea worker. If we again calculate for 5 years then it would come to a loss per tea worker of approximately Rs 2,70,000, What the loss of Rs 2,70,000/- for a tea worker for five years means can only be felt by him and his family”.
He said, “To understand the dimension of loss per family if we assume that 4 members of a family are engaged as tea workers then the loss per family will be Rs 640/ per day and the accumulated loss in 5 years will be approximately Rs 10,80, 000.Thus this is the approximate loss incurred (projected over 5 years) by a tea worker and his family”.
The Congress party feels that it is a rather harsh gift by the BJP government meted out to the tea workers for one mistake of voting for BJP. It is no doubt a rude shock for the simple tea workers to believe in the false promises of the BJP and the Congress feels that this is a lesson for others to learn as well.
Tea garden wages were a hotly debated issue in the recently concluded assembly polls.
Indian Tea Association, one of the main petitioners in the Gauhati High Court challenging the interim wage revision for tea workers, had announced an increase of the daily wage by Rs 26.
The high court has given tea estates the liberty to pay the workmen any interim enhancement of their wages as they deem proper till the issue is finally decided by the court.
In its May 26 order withdrawing the Rs 50 hike, the state labour department had noted the petition filed by associations of tea estates in the Gauhati High Court challenging the interim wage hike. As per rules, giving an interim hike requires the setting up of committees and subcommittees and taking their advice, the labour department said, adding that this process “was inadvertently skipped.”
The minimum wage before the Rs 50 interim hike was Rs 167 a day.
On Friday, BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das said the workers would get Rs 205 a day until the Gauhati High Court decided on a petition before it, as per the decision at a meeting that chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma held with tea workers’ union and the planters body.