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West Bengal: As Mamata relents, tea gardens to reopen with cap on labour power

Opposition criticised government, novel coronavirus pandemic, financial mismanagement, west bengal news, indian express news This got here a day after the Mamata Banerjee administration imposed spending curbs in its departments and ministries as revenues have declined amid the pandemic.

The state authorities on Thursday allowed the tea gardens within the state to restart manufacturing, however directed the property house owners to rotate employees, and use solely 15 per cent of the labour power at a time.

The authorities had earlier directed the plantations to stay closed throughout your entire length of the lockdown imposed to include the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic though the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had mentioned in an April three order that 50 per cent of the estates’ labour power may resume work.

The state authorities modified its place after tea backyard house owners warned of the huge losses they’d undergo due to the halt in manufacturing, and identified that tea leaves will probably be broken if they don’t seem to be plucked quickly.
“The tea industrialists said if the leaves are not plucked, then it will be useless within a few days. So, the government decided to allow them to reopen with only 15 per cent of the total strength, on a rotational basis, and with proper hygienic precautionary measures,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee advised reporters.

Earlier within the day, a tea backyard proprietor had warned of a “100 million kilogram shortfall” due to missed manufacturing targets in April, and losses of “more than Rs 1,000 crore”.

Mamata Banerjee’s preliminary objections to reopening the plantations had been linked to the spurt of constructive COVID-19 instances in Darjeeling district’s Kalimpong city after a 44-year-old lady died of the illness, and 11 members of her household had been discovered contaminated with the virus.

But plantation house owners identified to her that tea was a perishable commodity, and the leaves as soon as grown needed to be plucked inside 10 days. Some of them sought compensation if the closure continued.

“First three months of the year, that is April, May and June, production used to give us 40% of profit,” mentioned a backyard proprietor. “So, until and unless the government gives us compensation, we will face a huge loss.”

However, the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA) appeared cautious and didn’t search compensation. “This is a worldwide crisis. We have to wait for some more days,” mentioned its consultant Arijit Raha.

The state authorities’s preliminary place was supported by the BJP, and the CPI(M)-backed Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

Darjeeling MP and BJP chief Raju Bista mentioned the state administration had taken the correct name. “It’s true that the Union home ministry gave some guidelines to reopen the gardens,” he mentioned. “But, I wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah ji, advising against the move. I agreed with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. On an average 90-100 workers in every garden return from other states. So, if all tea gardens reopen then the situation may worsen.”

The parliamentarian mentioned he hoped the Centre would announce a monetary bundle for the house owners and employees.

CITU chief Zia Alam mentioned that each eight days tea leaves are deserted, and the bushes develop into dormant.

“So, production will be necessary,” he added. “But, this week is very crucial for curbing the spread of coronavirus. So, I think the state government took the right decision.”

Alam additionally demanded a monetary bundle, and meals provide to all employees, together with these employed on a brief foundation.

The chief of the Cha Bagan Sangram Samiti mentioned labourers had been apprehensive they’d not be paid their total wage. “Full payment should be ensured by the government, which should give full support to labourers’ families,” mentioned Samik Chakraborty.

After the Centre’s order earlier this month, tea gardens in Tamil Nadu and Kerala had resumed operations to chop down losses, however they’ve been slowed down by logistical issues.

“We restarted it in a staggered fashion, but we are facing a lot of problems starting tea auctions because of logistic problems,” mentioned Tea Board India’s Deputy Chairperson Arun Kumar Roy.

Though Kerala restarted on-line auctions, a tea-estate proprietor backed Roy’s remarks concerning the issues the trade is dealing with. “In Kerala, we are facing some logistical problems. We are trying to minimise that. Otherwise, we can overcome the delay in that area.”

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