Jute mill authorities agreed to deposit salary of their workers in the latter’s Provident Fund accounts as bi-weekly payments in the mills had stopped due to non-availability of lower denomination notes.
The authorities accepted the proposal of the state government in a tripartite meeting.
According to the sources, the state government started receiving calls from different stake holders of jute mills claiming payments to workers had not been possible in the beginning of the month.
The reason being, that the mill authorities did not have the needed numbers of notes of lower denominations to give the payment.
At the same time they were not allowed to withdraw more than Rs 24,000 from their bank account. At present there are 2.5 lakh workers in the jute mills in the state.
Usually, the payment in jute mills is given to workers twice a month after every 15 days. They get their payment once on 10th of every month and again on 25th.
But in November, they haven’t got the payment that they were supposed to get on the 10th of the current month.
Though there was no report of any untoward incident due to the delay in payment caused by the Centre’s decision of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, the workers were in deep trouble as they had no money to run their families and meet the medical expenses.
Thus, the state government called for a tripartite meeting in which the state labour minister Malay Ghatak, representatives of different trade unions and mill authorities were present.
In the meeting, the state government had placed a proposal before the mill authorities to deposit the biweekly payment of the workers in their provident fund account. Later, the workers would withdraw the money from their account.
They would not face much trouble in withdrawing the money as Provident Fund Branch offices are situated close to the jute mills.
The decision to deposit their payment in provident fund account has been taken because many workers do not have normal bank account.
The jute mills authorities had accepted the proposal and agreed to deposit the payment of the workers in their respective provident fund accounts.
Steps to solve the problem of giving payment to casual workers, those do not have any provident fund account, were also taken. The mill authorities have agreed to disburse the payment of casual workers directly from the former’s bank account.
At the same time, the mill authorities would also talk to some of the grocery and medicine shops in the area so that the workers do not face trouble to get essential goods and medicines as their payment is getting delayed.