Guwahati: Around 600 tea estates of the state have not cleared the Provident Fund (PF) claims of around 14,000 labourers and workers. Around 389 tea estates of the state have also not paid the gratuity amounts of 14,356 workers.
According to official sources, the Assam Tea Employees' Provident Fund Organization (ATEPFO) can take action against PF defaulting tea gardens. Action includes the attachment of TE assets under the relevant Act.
According to sources, ATEPFO has already issued show-cause notices to several tea garden managements for defaulting employees' PF. The ATEPFO recently attached the assets of Madarkhat Tea Estate in the Dibrugarh district. The process for the auction of the TE assets started on March 16. This TE has not deposited PF premia amounting to Rs 4 crore. The ATEPFO also attached the property of Talap Tea Estate on Wednesday for defaulting PF deposit.
According to sources, the process is going on to take action against several other PF-defaulting tea estates in the state.
Under the Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund Scheme, 1955, the state has around ten lakh PF members from tea estates. Staff members who receive salaries up to Rs 15,000 per month and daily-wage workers are entitled to PF benefits.
ATEPFO's zonal and inspectorate office-wise PF defaulting tea gardens in the state and the pending PF claims are – 1,635 claims in 120 TEs in Dibrugarh zonal office, 821 claims in 61 TEs in Jorhat, 884 claims in 62 TEs in Silchar, 1,358 claims in 96 TEs in Tinsukia, 2,853 claims in 59 TEs in Tezpur, 748 claims in 29 TEs in Sibsagar, 913 claims in 56 TEs in Golaghat, 624 claims in 23 TEs in Karimganj, 80 claims in 10 TEs in Sonari, 335 claims in 10 TEs in Nagaon Inspectorate office, 517 claims in 18 TEs in North Lakhimpur, 271 claims in 18 TEs in Mangaldai Inspectorate office, 420 claims in 19 TEs in Guwahati Inspectorate Office and 2,552 claims in 19 gardens under Assam Tea Corporation Ltd (ATCL).
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