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

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

The TN Authorities has issued a draft notification dated July thirty, proposing revision of minimum wages for employment in plantations growing tea, espresso, rubber and cinchona in the Point out.

As per the latest proposals, the personnel would be entitled to a wage maximize of ₹87 per working day for personnel in tea estates, which is the predominant plantation crop in Tamil Nadu.

The impacted parties are demanded to submit their objections or ideas to the proposals in the notification inside a period of two months from the date of gazette notification. Thereupon, the Authorities shall problem the closing notification by possibly modifying or confirming the proposals. The previous these kinds of revision was in the yr 2017.

Low costs

“What is stressing for the companies is that the steep maximize in their wage liability has appear about in the context of falling tea costs at the public auction centres. Growers of espresso and rubber in the Point out belong largely to the small holder group, who would locate it to be an uphill endeavor to shoulder the stress of an equivalent unexpected wage hike. The wage and wage related expenditure in the cost of creation in plantations is in surplus of 60 per cent,” mentioned Arun Kumar, Chairman, The Planters’ Affiliation of Tamil Nadu, in a statement.

“Of distinct worry to companies is that, out of the overall wage of ₹425 per working day, the methodology adopted by the Authorities in the notification for arriving at the Variable Dearness Allowance part is egregious. This has led to a 27 per cent maximize in DA, as towards only a nine per cent maximize in the previous notification of the yr 2017. This would consequence in an adverse impact just about every quarter to quarter, when the DA would have to be revised, throughout the class of the validity of the closing notification,” Arun Kumar mentioned.

Additional, even with no these kinds of a revision, the present wage prices in Tamil Nadu are far greater than the North-Jap States, which are the dominant producers of tea in the region in conditions of quantity, Arun Kumar mentioned.

The companies in the plantation marketplace in Tamil Nadu are in the method of finalising their objections to the statutory draft notification. “We hope to influence and prevail on the Point out Authorities on the need for moderation in minimum wage fixation in Tamil Nadu to make certain security of employment and the continued survival of the marketplace,” he added.

Tea creation in Tamil Nadu stood at 153.83 million kg (mkg) in 2020, accounting for about 12.two per cent of India’s tea output of 1,257.53 mkg.

Lengthy-phrase plan desired

N Lakshmanan Chettiar, Director, Golden Hills Estate Pvt Ltd, Coonoor, mentioned the proposed wage hike will upset the economics of the marketplace. “The Authorities has performed the unilateral conclusion of hiking the wages and at the very same time they do not have a system to improve up the auction levels,” Lakshmanan mentioned introducing that marketplace should glance at a very long-phrase resolution.

“We should not be dependent on this migrant labour permanently. We will have to be in tune with the current trends which is taking place in the environment situation by automating the agri-operations, for which very long phrase funding is vital,” he added.