‘Estate workers praise PM for providing Rs. 1,000 daily wage’

Uva Provincial Council Former Minister Sendil Thondaman said that the efforts of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to build the lives of estate workers by increasing the daily wage to Rs.1,000 are being honoured by the estate workers.

Former Minister Sendil Thondaman was participating in a special media briefing at Temple Trees yesterday.

The Opposition alleges that the daily wage of estate workers has not been increased to Rs.1, 000, but The National Plantation Corporation is now offering a daily allowance of Rs.1, 000 and several other companies have agreed to provide the allowance, he said.

He said that the Government has taken steps to increase the daily allowance of plantation workers from Rs.750 to Rs.1,000 and at the request of former Minister Arumugam Thondaman, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced in a pre-election proposal that steps will be taken to increase the daily wage of estate workers to Rs.1,000.

The State Plantation Corporation has taken steps to pay all the additional allowances in addition to the daily allowance. At the request of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the plantation companies have agreed to pay the allowance and some companies were demanding to pluck more leaves for the Rs.1,000 allowance, but that was not fair, he said.

State Plantation Corporation Chairman Attorney-at-Law Srimal Wijesekera said that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had discussed increasing the daily wages of estate workers on several occasions and finally taken steps to increase the daily allowance for estate workers to Rs. 1,000. He said that there are 16 estates in the Kandy and Matale Districts under the State Plantation Corporation and according to the decision made by the Government, it has been decided to provide a daily allowance of Rs.1,000 to about 3,800 estate workers from last March.

He said that the loss of the State Plantation Corporation was Rs.329 million by 2019 and it has been reduced to Rs.149 million by 2020. It was possible to get one million kilograms of extra leaves in 2020 as compared to the 2019 leaf harvest, he said.

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