Almost a week after Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had set December 15 as the deadline for all tea estates to open bank accounts for labourers, a century old tea estate firm Menoka not only became first tea estate to open the accounts on Saturday, but also paid all its staff online. The state is is located in Baksa district of the state.
Pradeep Kumar Singh, manager of Menoka was quoted by ‘The Indian Express’ as saying that the biggest achievement of the estate is the all labours are happy. Since the announcement of the demontisation on November 8, all labourers were worried. However, last week the tea estate was able to pay cash to labourers with the help of authorities and this week they were paid wages online. After the wages were transferred labourers were able to draw money from local Customer Service Point of SBI, he further told the paper.
As of now, nearly 476 permanent labourers work at Menoka, a 354-hectare garden. In Assam, most Most tea estates disburse wages on a weekly basis. According to Sanjeeb Kumar Gogoi, deputy commissioner of Baksa, apart from Menoka three other tea estates in the district Nagrijuli, Fatemabad and Doomni have opened bank accounts opened for more than half of their workers.
Agreeing with him, Kishan Kumar Sharma, sub-divisional officer of Tamulpur said the labourers had adjusted to the change quickly.