Consultative Committee of Planters’ Association (CCPA), an apex body of associations in the tea industry, has agreed to pay this year’s puja bonus among its workers at the rate of 20 percent. CCPA chairman Nayantara Pal Chowdhary, after holding a marathon virtual meeting, today announced that workers will be given “bonus for the 2019-20 financial year at the rate of 20 percent in 2020.”

Ms Pal also highlighted serious discussions held in the morning today over production and no agitation in gardens that would hamper work. “Despite the at least 20 percent production loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the CCPA, keeping in mind the workers’ plight during the lockdown, has agreed to make such bonus payment,” an official said.

The official also said that the management of over 30 sick gardens has sought relief, and that discussions are going on. The General Secretary of the ‘Cha Bagan Trinomool Congress Mazdoor Union,’ Nirjal De, expressed happiness over the decision to pay the 20 percent puja bonus. The Secretary of the Indian Tea Association, Terai Branch, Rana Dey, said trade union leaders attended the virtual meeting at the ITA’s Terai and Dooars branch.

It may be noted that the Chairman of the CCPA, Ms Pal Chowdhury, urged all to maintain work culture and pointed out a notification of the Tea Board about stopping plucking and production for the winter for quality tea production.

According to the last notification from the Tea Board, the last date of plucking/receiving of green leaves for all tea factories in this region is 12 December, and the closure of manufacturing units will be 15 December, while the last date of invoice marking and other work will be done between 25 and 30 December.

“We welcome this order. We should follow this order for the sustainability of the tea market. It will boost the tea market next year and production of inferior quality tea will be stopped,” president of the Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Association (CISTA), Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty, said.