The West Bengal (WB) State Assembly on 18 June 2015 passed West Bengal Tea Plantation Employees Welfare Fund Bill, 2015. The bill is aimed at ensuring welfare and provision of basic amenities for tea plantation workers in the state.
Provisions of the Bill
• It will provide interest subvention and matching grants to the employers of tea gardens as soft loan which they may take for undertaking social welfare schemes, medical facilities, housing, primary education, potable water supply, sanitation and child care.
• It will provide other basic amenities for the families of tea plantations employees.
• It will provide scholarships to the children of tea garden employees for undergoing training in technical institutes and polytechnics.
• It creates a 100 crore rupees corpus aimed at prodding owners to modernise closed and sick tea gardens.
• It will have representations from trade unions and will ensure compliance of welfare measures by the estates.
West Bengal is the second largest Indian tea-growing State after Assam, accounting for a quarter of India’s 1100 million kg tea output. There are 283 registered gardens in Darjeeling, Dooars and Terai. Several Central and state-sponsored welfare schemes are now being run in these gardens.
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When: 18 June 2015