10/08/2022

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TN tea planters worried over State’s move to revise minimum wages

3 min read

Tamil Nadu Government’s proposal to revise the minimum wages for workers in the plantation sector has triggered worries in the Condition tea sector.

The TN Government has issued a draft notification dated July 30, proposing revision of minimum wages for employment in plantations rising tea, coffee, rubber and cinchona in the Condition.

As for each the most recent proposals, the workers would be entitled to a wage increase of ₹87 for each working day for workers in tea estates, which is the predominant plantation crop in Tamil Nadu.

The afflicted functions are expected to submit their objections or tips to the proposals in the notification inside a period of two months from the day of gazette notification. Thereupon, the Government shall issue the last notification by either modifying or confirming the proposals. The prior this sort of revision was in the yr 2017.

Small rates

“What is stressing for the employers is that the steep increase in their wage legal responsibility has appear about in the context of slipping tea rates at the community auction centres. Growers of coffee and rubber in the Condition belong mainly to the little holder class, who would obtain it to be an uphill activity to shoulder the stress of an similar unexpected wage hike. The wage and wage relevant expenditure in the charge of production in plantations is in excessive of sixty for each cent,” explained Arun Kumar, Chairman, The Planters’ Affiliation of Tamil Nadu, in a statement.

“Of distinct issue to employers is that, out of the total wage of ₹425 for each working day, the methodology adopted by the Government in the notification for arriving at the Variable Dearness Allowance ingredient is egregious. This has led to a 27 for each cent increase in DA, as against only a nine for each cent increase in the prior notification of the yr 2017. This would final result in an adverse influence each individual quarter to quarter, when the DA would have to be revised, in the course of the class of the validity of the last notification,” Arun Kumar explained.

Even further, even with out this sort of a revision, the current wage fees in Tamil Nadu are much larger than the North-Jap States, which are the dominant producers of tea in the country in terms of quantity, Arun Kumar explained.

The employers in the plantation industry in Tamil Nadu are in the course of action of finalising their objections to the statutory draft notification. “We hope to encourage and prevail upon the Condition Government on the need to have for moderation in minimum wage fixation in Tamil Nadu to guarantee protection of employment and the ongoing survival of the industry,” he added.

Tea production in Tamil Nadu stood at 153.eighty three million kg (mkg) in 2020, accounting for all over twelve.2 for each cent of India’s tea output of 1,257.fifty three mkg.

Extended-phrase plan needed

N Lakshmanan Chettiar, Director, Golden Hills Estate Pvt Ltd, Coonoor, explained the proposed wage hike will upset the economics of the industry. “The Government has finished the unilateral choice of hiking the wages and at the exact time they don’t have a system to raise up the auction amounts,” Lakshmanan explained adding that industry should really glance at a prolonged-phrase solution.

“We should really not be dependent on this migrant labour without end. We will have to be in tune with the present traits which is occurring in the world state of affairs by automating the agri-operations, for which prolonged phrase funding is necessary,” he added.

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