Tea Board asks planters to provide facilities to workers
Karimganj (Assam), Feb 5 (PTI) Tea Board Chairman M G V K Bhanu has asked tea planters to provide proper facilities and amenities to workers so that they are encouraged to work with sincerity.
"The policy adopted by British planters is quite relevant even today as they were very careful about the facilities and amenities extended to the staff and workers.
"The incentives encouraged them to work with sincerity and commitment that contributed towards the expansion of the industry", Bhanu said.
He was speaking at the 42nd annual general meeting of Tea Association of India, Barak Valley Branch in Silchar last night.
"Better price for tea is the only solution and for that quality tea has to be produced and it is, therefore, important that incentives to staff and workers should get the priority and not the comfort and luxury of managers and management", he added.
On the issue of ''absenteeism'' by workers, Bhanu said the administration could not intervene but it was for the management of tea gardens to deal with the truant permanent workers according to the statutory law.
Bhanu further said the government was not obliged to extend subsidies on the implementation of various provisions of Plantation Labour Act, as the tea gardens and their management "are at the centre of criticism" of the labour unions and NGOs.
He cautioned that the cost of production and the wages were going to increase in view of the government''s critical economic decisions and the tea industry had to keep this in focus.
Tea Board had launched a massive programme for uprooting and replanting through SPTF (Special Purpose Tea Fund) to provide loan and subsidy but this failed due to lack of initiative on the part of the planters, he added.
The failure of the industry to follow FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Act) guidelines to bring food safety of our country to international standards was another area of concern, Bhanu said.
Tea may be able to fetch better price in the domestic and international markets by following the norms of FSSAI and urged for evolving effective mechanism to ensure compliance, he added.
The Tea Board could not continue to provide subsidies to encourage organic cultivation of tea and also that of orthodox, Bhanu said.
Quality upgradation and product diversification scheme, the flagship scheme of Tea Board, would be discontinued, he added.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan surprised the financial markets by keeping the repo rate, or the main lending rate, unchanged at 7.75 per cent. Rajan unexpectedly kept the country's policy interest rate on hold despite calling current inflation too high, citing the prospect of easing retail prices and its c... More Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan surprised the financial markets by keeping the repo rate, or the main lending rate, unchanged at 7.75 per cent. Rajan unexpectedly kept the country's policy interest rate on hold despite calling current inflation too high, citing the prospect of easing retail prices and its concerns about the weak domestic economy.
Date 17-12-13, Duration 3:09, Views 160