A large number of tea garden and jute mill workers are not getting their payments since demonetisation was announced and several factories are on the verge of closure for the same reason, said Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak in the Assembly on Tuesday.
In reply to a question, Ghatak said that none of the factories were closed in the past six years. “Instead, we have reopened 118 closed factories. Around 1.77 lakh workers were re-employed in the factories,” he said.
He maintained that there are around 28 tea gardens where weekly payments of workers had stopped since November 8 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. It had not been possible to give payment to the workers despite of several attempts taken by the state government.
The state government had requested the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to help the tea garden workers get their payments through the District Magistrate as the tea garden owners were not having lower value notes. But the proposal was not accepted by the RBI.
Again, there are around 30 per cent jute mill workers who are not getting their payment as they do not have bank accounts. The mill authorities had agreed to deposit the payment of rest of the workers in their bank accounts in a tripartite meeting between mill authorities, labourers’ representatives and state government.
Though none of the factories have closed yet, many are in the verge of closure due to demonetisation, he said.