Youngsters use puppets to spread awareness on gender issues in Assam tea gardens
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Guwahati: The daily wages of tea garden workers in Assam were hiked by Rs 27, the second increase in such payments since the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government came to power in the state in May last year, a government official announced on Wednesday.

The upward revision of wages has become effective from August 1, the official said.

The decision to revise the wages was taken in a meeting among Sarma and representatives of Tea Associations and Workers’ unions on Wednesday.

“Happy to share that in a meeting with tea associations, it was decided to hike the workers’ wage by Rs 27, thus raising their daily wage to Rs 232 and Rs 210 in Brahmaputra Valley & Barak Valley respectively,” the CM wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Sarma said the welfare of tea garden workers’ has always been his government’s top priority.

He said the cash hike in daily wages of tea garden workers is “over and above the ration and other benefits”.

“All garden workers will get ration cards & we urged the gardens to take Fair Price Shop licenses. Representatives of the Indian Tea Association, NE Tea Association, Tea Association of India, Bharatiya Chah Parishad, Assam Tea Planters’ Association & Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha were present at the meeting,” he said.

Traditionally, tea workers’ wages are largely paid in two components – cash and other benefits such as ration, health services and education.

The previous wage revision was done in May last year soon after Sarma became the chief minister, and it was made effective on February 22, 2021.

During Wednesday’s meeting, Sarma also assured the planters of raising the government subsidy for orthodox tea from Rs 7 to Rs 10 per kg.

State Industry and Commerce Minister Bimal Borah had on Tuesday held a meeting with small tea growers and workers for the fixation of wages.

No announcement on the wages of small tea garden workers has been made yet.

Assam produced 667.73 million kg of tea in 2021, of which small gardens accounted for 311.12 million kg, as per Tea Board India data.

The overall tea production in the country was 1,343.06 million kg.

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