Opening of bank accounts for TE labourers
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 7: A seemingly huge mismatch between what Minister of State for Labour and Employment Pallav Lochan Das told the media recently on the percentage of tea estate labourers getting bank accounts opened under Prime Minister’s Jan-Dhan Scheme and the ground reality has cropped up now.
The minister was on record of telling the media recently that bank accounts have been opened for 70 per cent tea estate labourers in the State under the Prime Minister’s Jan-Dhan Scheme. However, tea estate labourers were seen to stage protest demonstration today for not getting their wages. According to media reports, around 94 per cent of tea estate labourers are yet to have any bank accounts.
Reacting to this development, AIUDF president and MP Badruddin Ajmal said in a statement issued to the press today: “The common people, including tea estate labourers, have been suffering the worst due to the demonetization. Recently Minister of State for Labour and Employment Pallav Lochan was on record informing the media that bank accounts have been opened for around 70 per cent tea estate labourers, following a directive from Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal towards that end. Sonowal did ask the department to open bank accounts for all tea garden workers by December 5. However, it has come to light now that around 94 per cent tea estate labourers in the State don’t have any bank accounts. Tea garden labourers are a panicked lot as they aren’t sure as to how they will get their wages. The Prime Minister demonetized 500-rupee and 1000-rupee notes on November 8. A month has elapsed but the government has failed to do anything tangible as a succour to the sufferings of the common people and tea estate workers. Rather the government is seen to ignore the sufferings of the people and look the other way. This is not all. The government is resorting to a false campaign that the people of the country have no problems due to the demonetization.”
Ajmal further said: “Yet again, I want to make it sure that we’re not against the government putting an end to corruption and stashing black money. However, that doesn’t mean that the government can impose its unplanned decisions on the people and make them suffer. Not only for tea workers, banks and ATMs should reach all rural areas in the State. Rural people should be able to withdraw cash through their mobile phones.”