SILCHAR: A meeting in connection with payment of bonus to tea garden workers on the occasion of Durga Puja was held at the conference hall of Cachar Deputy Commissioner's office in Silchar on Tuesday. At the outset, Dipak Jidung, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Cachar welcomed all the members present following which a discussion on the issue of payment of bonus to tea garden workers was held.
B.Chaliha, Secretary, SVITA and S. Bhattaharjee, Secretary, TAI informed in the meeting that the management of Cachar tea estates had no problems in the past regarding settlement and payment of bonus to their workers and this year also it will be settled and paid peacefully and smoothly even though they are not privy to the balance sheets of different tea gardens.
S Bhattacharjee stated that all concerned had already been intimated regarding the direction given by the government regarding the payment of bonus. He also stressed that due to non-availability of ATMs kiosks in the majority of the tea gardens, adequate business correspondent should be deployed by the bank to the tea gardens for payment of bonus smoothly.
S. Mishra, assistant general secretary, BCSU, expressed his views regarding the rate of bonus to be paid and requested that those gardens which are financially sound should increase the rate of the bonus payable, i.e. more than 8.33 per cent and payment should not be paid on Ashtami day.
BCSU general secretary Ajit Singh requested all the tea garden managements to disburse the bonus well ahead of the ensuing puja to enable the workers to do their puja marketing and also reiterated that bonus should not be disbursed on Ashtami day. Adequate denomination of cash should be provided by the bank and also security personnel should be deployed by the Police for smooth payment in all tea gardens. The excise department should conduct inspections in the tea garden areas to stop selling of illicit liquor.
C. Bhattacharjee, president, ABCMS requested the members to follow the payment of Bonus Act in letter and spirit and expressed his displeasure in the disparity regarding payment of bonus and wages in different tea gardens of Cachar district.
Cachar Deputy Commissioner informed that all the tea garden management should implement the rate of wages notified by the government before penal action is taken upon the erring management as per law. She also expressed her displeasure regarding arrear payment tendency of the management. She requested the management to give reasons as to why the management are not interested in signing an agreement with the Health Department to run the Garden Hospital in PPP Mode.
SVITA secretary B Chaliha informed the Deputy Commissioner the reasons in details and S. Sikdar, Sr. Manager of Dooloo Tea Estate also informed the D.C. regarding non-receipt and lapsed of funds during the financial year 2019-20.
Partha Pratim Saikia, additional superintendent of police (headquarters) requested the garden management to inform the police the schedule to be observe by the garden management for payment of bonus well ahead in time so that adequate security may be provided to them, stated a press release.