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2 TEs attached for failure to deposit PF amounts

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, Dec 31 - Acting tough on defaulting tea garden managements, the Assam Tea Employees� Provident Fund Organisation (ATEPFO) attached two tea gardens for their failure in deposit Provident Fund (PF) amounts of their workers.

This is the first time that such a punitive action has been taken on defaulting tea gardens. The two tea gardens are Sekoni Tea Estate of Kaliabor in Nagaon district and Rajabari Tea Estate in Jorhat.

Addressing a press conference, Minister of State for Labour and Tea Tribes Welfare Pallab Lochan Das said that the two tea gardens had been attached by the ATEPFO for defaulting in the payment of workers� PF amounts.

�The tea garden managements were given several chances to make the payments, even in instalments, but without any positive response. We attached the gardens as a last resort,� Das said.

Das, who is also the chairman of the ATEPFO, said 20 more such defaulting tea gardens had been identified and would face similar action. �Out of nearly 800 tea gardens in the State, about 100 are defaulters. We crack the whip in a phased manner if they fail to comply with the directives,� he added.

The ATEPFO will hand over the gardens to interested parties for running them for six months and then sell it off to the highest bidder as per laid down rules, he added.

The two gardens have been attached under Section 15 of Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund Act, 1955 (since amended).

�As per the Act, the tea estate management deducts ten per cent from wages of the employees for depositing in PF, while another 12 per cent is contributed by the management. But several tea gardens have failed not only to pay its 12 per cent share, but also the ten per cent that has been shown deducted from the wages,� he said.

On other welfare measures for tea garden workers, Das said minimum pension would be increased from Rs 250 per month to Rs 500 per month, with a target to taking it up to Rs 1,000 per month.

The minimum benefit under deposit-linked insurance will also be increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1 lakh per worker, he added.

The Minister said all PF settlements for tea garden workers were being done through direct bank account transfer mode.

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2 TEs attached for failure to deposit PF amounts

GUWAHATI, Dec 31 - Acting tough on defaulting tea garden managements, the Assam Tea Employees� Provident Fund Organisation (ATEPFO) attached two tea gardens for their failure in deposit Provident Fund (PF) amounts of their workers.

This is the first time that such a punitive action has been taken on defaulting tea gardens. The two tea gardens are Sekoni Tea Estate of Kaliabor in Nagaon district and Rajabari Tea Estate in Jorhat.

Addressing a press conference, Minister of State for Labour and Tea Tribes Welfare Pallab Lochan Das said that the two tea gardens had been attached by the ATEPFO for defaulting in the payment of workers� PF amounts.

�The tea garden managements were given several chances to make the payments, even in instalments, but without any positive response. We attached the gardens as a last resort,� Das said.

Das, who is also the chairman of the ATEPFO, said 20 more such defaulting tea gardens had been identified and would face similar action. �Out of nearly 800 tea gardens in the State, about 100 are defaulters. We crack the whip in a phased manner if they fail to comply with the directives,� he added.

The ATEPFO will hand over the gardens to interested parties for running them for six months and then sell it off to the highest bidder as per laid down rules, he added.

The two gardens have been attached under Section 15 of Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund Act, 1955 (since amended).

�As per the Act, the tea estate management deducts ten per cent from wages of the employees for depositing in PF, while another 12 per cent is contributed by the management. But several tea gardens have failed not only to pay its 12 per cent share, but also the ten per cent that has been shown deducted from the wages,� he said.

On other welfare measures for tea garden workers, Das said minimum pension would be increased from Rs 250 per month to Rs 500 per month, with a target to taking it up to Rs 1,000 per month.

The minimum benefit under deposit-linked insurance will also be increased from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1 lakh per worker, he added.

The Minister said all PF settlements for tea garden workers were being done through direct bank account transfer mode.