Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (September 3, 2022) asked all to remain vigilant so that the local tea industry is not harmed.
“Our tea industry is crucial for us, it is a foreign exchange earning crop. So this industry must not be harmed; it must flourish,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while exchanging views with tea workers from Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Sylhet and Chattogram areas through video conference from her official residence Ganabhaban.
She said that the Awami League government has always worked for betterment of the tea workers and to expand the tea estates.
She mentioned that the area and character of tea workers are different compared to other workers.
In this connection she said that tea workers did not have citizenship of the country.
She said that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave them citizenship when he was the Industries Minister in 1954.
“Because of that, I think we have some added responsibilities towards you. We have always tried to address your problems,” she said.
Also read: Tea workers’ daily wage set at Tk170: Fair?
The Prime Minister said that a few days back when the tea workers raised demands to increase their wages, she held meeting with owners of tea estates and set the daily wages and other facilities for the tea workers.
She said that the government has taken measures so that the owners ensure their dignity and look after the tea workers.
The Prime Minister briefly described initiatives of overall development of the country and said that the government has taken steps to ensure homes for every person in the country.
She said that due to the coronavirus pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, prices of essentials have seen significant increase.
“The wave of that blow reached Bangladesh, and we are trying to provide food for people at fair prices, so that they can sustain their families with the income,” she said.
Later, she patiently listened to the tea workers who spoke from the four districts.
Recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed tea estate owners to raise the daily wage of tea workers to Tk 170 from Tk 120 after holding a meeting with them following the demands of the tea workers.
The workers' other benefits, including plucking bonus (benefit for plucking additional tea leaves), festival bonus, earned leave and sick leave allowances, provident fund, ration card and retirement facilities will also be increased proportionately.