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ACMS demands high-level probe into ‘ration scam’ in tea estates

From our Staff Correspondent

Dibrugarh, Feb 7: The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) has demanded a high-level enquiry on the ‘ration scam’ in tea estates which was raised by State Labour Minister Pallav Lochan Das during zero hour in the ongoing session of the Assam Assembly.

In a press communique, ACMS secretary Dileswar Tanti, while referring to Das’ attempt to link ACMS with the scams, stated that it was unfortute. ACMS, Tanti said, had sincerely supported the demand, as raised by a number of members in the assembly, to institute an enquiry on the issue by a sitting judge of the Gauhati High Court and urged upon the State Government to start the enquiry with immediate effect.  The Guahati High Court, by an order issued on 27.1.2016, had directed to all concerned to maintain the supply of ration to tea workers as usual, Tanti referred.

The information relating tea workers’ wages, which the Labour Minister had  raised in the assembly, Tanti said was incorrect and that the Labour Minister should not blame ACMS  for this.

“Labour Minister Pallav Lochan Das is certainly well acquainted that the wage issue of tea labourers is under judicial process of Gauhati High Court on the Tea Planters’ Association’s plea. The ACMS has entered into a bipartite agreement so that the workers are not deprived of their genuine wages during the judicial process in the high court,” Tanti added. Under this agreement the wage of worker has been raised from Rs. 95 to Rs.137, the ACMS secretary claimed.  However, the ACMS secretary stated that the 15,000 workers and more than 30,000 to 40,000 dependents of the workers in the 15 tea estates of ACCL are deprived from rations quota, which is unfortute and on the other hand, when workers of tea estates of Brahmaputra Valley are getting Rs 137 as wages under bipartite agreement, the workers of ACCL tea estates are getting only Rs.115 as wages.

The ACMS urged upon the State Labour Minister to take immediate measures on both the burning issues relating to welfare of the tea workers.

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Ankur Kalita