By LE Desk

Guwahati, March 11: The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday said no “coercive action” should be taken against the tea companies for not complying with wage revision notification of tea garden workers in Assam, days after the Sarbananda Sonowal government issued an order on the wage hike.

Following the promises made by the incumbent BJP-led alliance government in the state, the Labour Welfare department, through a notification on February 23, had enhanced the minimum wage of ₹ 167 per day by an “interim amount” of ₹ 50, taking it to ₹ 217 per day, before the imposition of the model code of conduct.

Both the BJP and the Congress have been attempting to connect with the tea community which forms over 20 percent of Assam’s population, spread over at least 800 tea gardens, and is seen as a poll deciding factor in at least 40 out of the 126 Assembly constituencies.

The tea tribe community has been asking for a wage hike of ₹ 351 per day.

Congress, in its election campaign, has guaranteed that they will ensure ₹ 365 minimum daily wage to the tea workers if they are voted to power.

The High Court judge, Justice Michael Zothankhuma, acting on a petition filed by the Indian Tea Association along with 17 other tea companies, had made serious observation on the notification, NDTV reported.

“Illegal in as much as no Committee/Sub-Committees have been formed as required under Section 5(1/a) and Section 9 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.” the item order read.

Assam Government’s Additional Advocate General D Mazumder, however had asked the court to list another day for the matter so that he can obtain instructions in this regard. It has been listed for March 15 again.

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