By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 26: State Labour Minister Pallab Lochan Das has informed the State Assembly that a process is underway to reactivate the conked up factories of the 15 Assam Tea Company (ATC) Ltd gardens. However, with his laid-back reply to another query, the minister has dropped a broad hint that the payment of tea labourers’ Provident Fund premia is quite uncertain.
ATC has 15 gardens under it.
Replying to a query from BJP’s Sanjay Kishan, Das said: “We’ve framed a policy to reactivate the conked out factories of the ATC gardens in the State. As of now, while in Negheriting Tea Estate, Lungsung Tea Estate and Dipling Tea Estate the conked out factories have been renovated and reactivated, in three other tea estates – Simara Tea Estate, Saikota Tea Estate and Amlokhi Tea Estate – the renovation works of the conked out factories are going on.”
On plantation front, Das said: “Plantation of young tea bushes has been done in 832 hectares of land in ATC gardens.”
On production, Das informed the House that while 1.65 crore kg of green leaves was produced by the ATC gardens in 2015, 1.87 crore kg was produced in 2016 and 2 crore kg was produced in 2017.” When asked as to when will the Provident Fund premia of the labouers of ATC gardens be paid, Das opted to give a curt reply saying ‘when the tea estates will deposit the arrears’.