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Centre to seek reports from Assam, WB govts

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, June 30 � The Union government today said it would seek reports from the governments of Assam and West Bengal regarding the issue of minimum wages of tea garden workers.

This was stated by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya here today.

Replying to a query during a media conference, Dattatreya said, �The working conditions and minimum wages of tea garden workers are very miserable. We have had some complaints from both Assam and West Bengal. The welfare activities of tea gardens are being looked after by the Ministry of Commerce, while the respective state governments should look into the issues of minimum wages.�

He added, �However, we will seek reports from the states and once we receive them we will examine if minimum wages are being maintained or not.�

Dattatreya was in the city to attend the Regional Labour Ministers� Conference (North Eastern region).

The Union Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was putting maximum emphasis on the North-east and development of the region was a priority for the Central government.

He said the 50-bed ESIC Hospital at Beltola here would be upgraded to a 100-bed one and work on it would start soon. �In other states also, if any upgradation is required and if a suitable proposal comes from the state, the same will be considered,� he added.

Dattatreya said ESIC hospital services would be provided in all north-eastern states and the Centre had sought 1,000 sq feet of land at Gangtok, Imphal, Aizawl, Dimapur and Itanagar for setting up EPFO offices.

The Minister said a vocational training centre would also be set up in Guwahati.

He said labour being a concurrent subject, both the Centre and state governments ought to work together as a team.

He added that the Union Labour and Employment Ministry had set a target to provide one crore jobs across the country within the next two years.

Dattatreya said primary importance was being given for security and well-being of the unorganised sector workers who comprise 93 per cent of India�s labour force, including linking all social security schemes for such workers through Unorganized Workers Card (UWIN).

He said the government had initiated the process where 44 central labour laws would be simplified, rationalised and amalgamated into four labour codes on wages, industrial relation, social security and welfare, and safety and working environment.

He added that the Union Cabinet had also decided to amend the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act to make it more effective.

Dattaterya said all the employment exchanges would be converted to model career counseling centres.

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