“We have submitted details of most tea gardens. We hope the details will be sent to the administration by tomorrow,” Amritangshu Chakraborty, the principal advisor of Indian Tea Planters’ Association, said.
Following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes by the Centre on November 8, one was not allowed to withdraw more than Rs 2,0000 from bank till November 24. As the planters cannot pay workers wages because of the ceiling on the withdrawal, it was later decided that the management of each estate would submit details of workers and the total amount of wages to the state labour departments.
“The labour department will forward the details to us. We, in turn, will send necessary documents to the Reserve Bank of India for approval. Once the approval reaches us, planters would be asked to transfer or deposit the amount in the government treasury. We will then pay workers,” said Mukta Arya, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri.
An official of the labour department said the tea estates had been asked to prepare the estimates cautiously and not include payment of any other expense. “If it is found the estimate is higher than the actual amount for wages, the estate concerned will face stern action,” he said.
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