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Tripura tea industry runs into rough weather

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, May 5 � Widespread resentment is brewing among the tea planters in Tripura after the State government�s unilateral announcement of hike in the tea plantation workers� wages.

From May 1, the wage of tea workers has been hiked by Rs 12 in first year, Rs 10 in second year and Rs 12 in third year.

However, majority of the tea planters have declined to accept the hike in the wage of tea workers. Only Laxmi Tea Group, one of the most successful tea companies in the State, has agreed to the hike and declared enhancing the wage from May 1. It has also announced to increase green tea leaf by Re 1 from May 1.

When contacted, PK Sarkar, secretary of Tea Association of India (TAI), said that most of the tea planters have not accepted the government decision of hiking wage of tea plantation workers.

�The tea industry is struggling to survive due to the apathetic attitude of the State government for a long time. The cost of tea has been increased to Rs 100 or Rs 110, whereas the tea planters are unable to sell the finished product at Rs 100 per kg or more at the auction market. This is happening for long time, but the government has turned a blind eye on the plight of tea planters,� he said.

Sarkar said that the high transportation cost and non-availability of fertilizer are the woes of the local tea planters. �It seems the government is blind to the problems prevailing in the tea estates,� he alleged.

He urged the government to ensure that tea planters get reasonable price at the auction markets if it wants the tea industry to survive in the days to come.

�We had a meeting and discussed the situation that may arise due to the hike in the wage of tea workers. A TAI delegation is expected to meet Labour Commissioner SK Das very shortly to brief him about the problems being faced by the tea planters here,� he said.

However, he hinted at accepting a �little� hike in the wage of plantation workers. �We can�t give high rate of wage to plantation workers, because of the prevailing situation. But the tea planters may consider a little hike in the wage,� he said.

According to Sarkar, the State has 58 tea estates, covering an area of 7,000 hectares. Around 14,000 workers are engaged in these tea estates. The State produces 1 lakh crore kg of tea annually.

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Tripura tea industry runs into rough weather

AGARTALA, May 5 � Widespread resentment is brewing among the tea planters in Tripura after the State government�s unilateral announcement of hike in the tea plantation workers� wages.

From May 1, the wage of tea workers has been hiked by Rs 12 in first year, Rs 10 in second year and Rs 12 in third year.

However, majority of the tea planters have declined to accept the hike in the wage of tea workers. Only Laxmi Tea Group, one of the most successful tea companies in the State, has agreed to the hike and declared enhancing the wage from May 1. It has also announced to increase green tea leaf by Re 1 from May 1.

When contacted, PK Sarkar, secretary of Tea Association of India (TAI), said that most of the tea planters have not accepted the government decision of hiking wage of tea plantation workers.

�The tea industry is struggling to survive due to the apathetic attitude of the State government for a long time. The cost of tea has been increased to Rs 100 or Rs 110, whereas the tea planters are unable to sell the finished product at Rs 100 per kg or more at the auction market. This is happening for long time, but the government has turned a blind eye on the plight of tea planters,� he said.

Sarkar said that the high transportation cost and non-availability of fertilizer are the woes of the local tea planters. �It seems the government is blind to the problems prevailing in the tea estates,� he alleged.

He urged the government to ensure that tea planters get reasonable price at the auction markets if it wants the tea industry to survive in the days to come.

�We had a meeting and discussed the situation that may arise due to the hike in the wage of tea workers. A TAI delegation is expected to meet Labour Commissioner SK Das very shortly to brief him about the problems being faced by the tea planters here,� he said.

However, he hinted at accepting a �little� hike in the wage of plantation workers. �We can�t give high rate of wage to plantation workers, because of the prevailing situation. But the tea planters may consider a little hike in the wage,� he said.

According to Sarkar, the State has 58 tea estates, covering an area of 7,000 hectares. Around 14,000 workers are engaged in these tea estates. The State produces 1 lakh crore kg of tea annually.