GUWAHATI: Tea workers in poll-bound Assam slammed the ruling BJP on Saturday for a “meager” hike in their wages. The state government decided to raise their daily wages by Rs 50 — from Rs 167 to Rs 217. “We are not happy. The government has not fulfilled its commitment and the workers’ expectations.
In its Vision Document of 2016, the BJP had promised a daily wage of Rs 351 for the tea workers,” Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) general secretary Rupesh Gowala told this newspaper. He said the ACMS, during its recent meetings with the government, had insisted on the implementation of a draft proposal of Rs 351 daily wages and with retrospective effect from March 1, 2018.
The Congress, which has promised daily wages of Rs 365 if voted to power, accused the BJP of betraying the tea community. “Sheer betrayal by @ BJP4Assam promising to raise daily wage of tea workers to Rs 351/- & after 5 yrs increasing it to Rs 220. Congress’ 30-day guarantee Rs 365 daily wage within 30 days of coming to power,” Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi tweeted.
The government’s decision to constitute the JB Ekka oneman committee for equal wages of workers has also met with criticism. “It is meaningless since a draft notification was issued in 2018 on the wages of workers of small tea gardens. It fixed the wages at Rs 244. When the government was expected to issue the final notification in this regard, it decided to constitute this committee. This is a delaying tactic,” Gowala said.