Assam MP Pallab Lochan Das on Tuesday demanded on the floor of the Lok Sabha that the Tea Act and the Plantation Labour Act be amended to give life to the tea industry in Assam.
While raising the issue of the poor condition of both the tea industry in Assam and the tea laboueres working in various tea gardens in the state, Tezpur MP Das said the tea garden labourers in Assam are working live ‘slave’.
BJP MP Pallab Lochan Das in his maiden speech in the Lok Sabha, said, “The tea garden labourers, who have been working in Assam, were taken to Assam by the British as bonded labour from Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The British have gone. But the system that they left is still there.”
He said, “The tea producers are not getting proper rates for the tea they produce and the tea garden labourers are also not getting their proper wages. Therefore, a number of companies have remained non-functional.”
While blaming two Acts – Tea Act and Plantation Labour Act – responsible for the poor condition of the tea companies and the tea garden labourers, Das said, “The tea companies are run according to the Tea Act while the whole industry is run according to the Plantation Labour Act. These Acts need to be amended otherwise law and order situation will arise in the tea gardens of West Bengal and Assam.”
Das, who was a former Assam minister for tea tribe welfare, said there are 50 lakh tea garden labourers, who have been working in various tea gardens across Assam.
“But they have been deprived of their rights,” he said.