The minimum daily wages for tea garden workers in the state have gone up by 200 percent since the Trinamool Congress government came to power in 2011, state Labour minister Moloy Ghatak said at the state Assembly on Tuesday.
Responding to a query from RSP MLA Narmada Chandra Roy regarding the wages of tea garden workers in North Bengal, the minister said that the minimum daily wages of the tea garden workers in terms of cash was Rs 67 in 2011 which has now risen to Rs 132.50.
"All laws pertaining to the tea gardens are central acts and there has never been a fixed daily minimum wages of tea garden workers. Bengal has the highest daily wages in cash in the whole country. States like Assam offer wages at Rs 122.50 daily while the wages of the tea garden workers in South India is even lesser," Ghatak said adding that these workers also get things in kind from the tea garden owners like wheat, paddy, wood for fuel, medical facilities, shoes, electricity etc.
The minister alleged that the Left Front government had neglected the interests of the tea garden workers. "They had formed a committee but it did not hold any meeting. We have formed a minimum wages advisory committee in February 2015 that has already held seven meetings in Siliguri and Kolkata. The last meeting was held in the city on August 1. From 2011 to 2013, the daily wages of the workers rose by Rs 28," he added.