Monday, 1 February 2016

BJP WB extends gratitude to Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

Press Release
Taking cognizance of the plight of the garden workers prevalent in the tea gardens of North Bengal more particularly the gardens owned by Duncans Group, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India has invoked relevant provisions of Tea Act paving the way for taking over the management of seven gardens namely Birpara, Garganda, Lankapara, Tulsipara, Hintapara, Dhumchipara and Demdima situated in the far flung areas of Alipurduar & Jalpaiguri districts. The latest Central Government Order dated 28.1.2016 directed the Tea Board to take over management control of the said tea gardens under the Tea Act.
This has rekindled the hope amongst the poor garden workers, who are predominantly scheduled tribes, of early resumption of plucking and production of tea and putting an end to their hardship of 3-4 months due to suspension of work by the Duncans Group

                This bold step against the defaulting garden owners has happened days after Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister, Commerce & Industry (I/C), Govt. of India visited some of the closed/stressed tea gardens of North Bengal in the first week of January, 2016 after State President Sri Dilip Ghosh's briefing regarding the same earlier and took personal stock of the pitiable condition of the closed/stressed tea garden workers. Interacting with garden workers who were predominantly women, the Hon’ble Minister has assured to take firm steps to protect the interest of the workers. The instant notification of the Centre only vindicates the concern of BJP led NDA Govt. of the Centre for the welfare of tea garden workers of North Bengal. The Owners who are not running the tea gardens properly, thereby depriving the poor workers from their legitimate dues shall, from now on think twice before daring to deprive any garden worker from his legitimate due.

                    Earlier the BJP State President also visited several areas of North Bengal and took note of the Tea garden workers' issues. The State President has also despatched a 10 member BJP Medical team to assess the extent of malnutrition and also to provide some medical treatment and free medicines to the affected garden workers. The State BJP has further demanded that the workers be given Rs 220/- full in cash. The earlier practice was that the workers used to get RS 120/- in case and rest Rs 100/- in kind in the form of subsidised food items.         

         Union Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman invokes stringent provision of Tea Act against errant garden owners.                                      

          We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (I/C), Commerce & Industry for her timely intervention and firm step which would go a long way in solving the plight of the tea garden workers of Bengal.

Sent By : Krishanu Mitra, Spokesperson & Media In-charge, BJP - West Bengal

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