November 21, 2016
The Planter’s Association of Tamil Nadu (PAT) today urged the state government to adopt a system, followed by major plantation states, by which cash payment can be made to its workers, without making them suffer, due to the restrictions of withdrawal imposed by the Centre after demonetisation.
With the present situation, the governments of Assam, West Bengal and Kerala have introduced a system where the plantation employer issues a cheque in favour of the district collector for the required amount for wage disbursement, PAT Chairman, Suresh Jacob said in a release here. The amount is withdrawn from the treasury and handed over to the employer, who will disburse them to the employees, he said.
Stating that a representation to the Tamil Nadu government has already been made to adopt the similar system, he said that this will not only benefit the employees, but will also help in the smooth running of plantations.
Demonetisation and restrictions on withdrawal has caused a great inconvenience in the payment of wages to the plantation employees, said Jacob, adding that non-availability of bank branches in the remote hilly areas of the state, where plantations are located, is a major reason for employees not opening the Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts.
Under the Payment of Wages Act 1936, wages are still to be paid in cash unless employees consent individually to have their wages credited to their accounts. Even if wages were transferred to accounts, they will find it difficult in travelling to their banks to withdraw money, unless banks set up ATMs in the plantation itself, Jacob said.