GUWAHATI, Oct 24 - Wielding the big stick, the State government today warned that tea gardens failing to pay the interim wage hike to its workers will have to face prosecution as per law.
Labour and Tea Tribes Welfare Minister Pallab Lochan Das said there have been allegations that some tea garden managements in Barak valley have not yet complied with the government notification on the interim hike of Rs 30.
�We have been told that some have given a hike of Rs 15. We have asked the labour department to verify the allegations and prepare a report. Those gardens which have failed to pay the hike will have to face action as per law,� Das said, adding that there have been no complaints from the Brahmaputra valley gardens.
The minister said the committee on minimum wages headed by Kumar Sanjay Krishna is conducting hearings and once it submits its report, the government will take a call on notifying the final minimum wages.
Das said lawmakers and representatives from the tea community had a meeting yesterday where several welfare initiatives for the community were taken up.
The government will give scooties to 100 top meritorious students of the community. Students clearing the higher secondary exams can apply for the award and the 100 beneficiaries will be selected on the basis of marks obtained in the exam.
One thousand women SHGs in tea garden areas will be given a one-time grant of Rs 25,000. Besides, 50 meritorious students from the community will be given coaching for competitive
exams at the Administrative Staff College here. Garden sardars will be provided mobile phones, Das said.
�We have also chalked out plans to ensure that the benefit of the old age pension schemes and Chah Bagisa Dhan Puraskar Mela reaches every household in the tea garden areas,� he said. Under the Chah Bagisa Dhan Puraskar Mela, an incentive of Rs 5,000 is given for opening bank accounts. Some 7.5 lakh bank accounts have been opened so far, the minister informed, adding that the number would go up to nine lakh this year.
The government has also decided to provide general nursing and midwifery (GNM) training to 200 girls from the tea community. An accidental and death insurance scheme is also on the cards for the tea community.
The minister also informed that a book fair will be held at Bokakhat from November 18 to 20 in memory of Meghraj Karmakar, Deuram Tasa and Narayan Ghatowar, while the Shramik Kalyan Divas will be observed in memory of Santosh Mukar Topno in Sonitpur district on November 23.