Gorkha Janmukti Morcha continues tea export ban

March 22nd, 2011 - 1:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Darjeeling, Mar.22 (ANI): The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a regional outfit in West Bengal, has said it will continue its call for a ban on the export of Darjeeling Tea till the demand for a hike in the wages of tea garden workers is met.

A meeting between the GJM and the Consultative Committee of Plantation Association (CCPA), an apex body of all tea producers’ in India ended inconclusively in Darjeeling.

The GJM has stopped tea exports from Darjeeling since March 4 over a demand to increase the wages of tea garden workers from Rupees 60 to Rupees 245.

“We demand Rupees 245 as minimum floor wage in tea gardens of north Bengal. This is our main agenda,” said Harka Bahadur Chettri, GJM spokesperson.

The GJM has given the CCPA March 31 deadline to meet its demand.

Tea garden workers have complained about their pathetic quality of life, saying that their current wage of Rupees 60 is too low.

The CCPA has requested the GJM to lift their ban on Tea exports, keeping in mind the huge quantity of Darjeeling Tea being exported.

The CCPA said they are facing serious difficulties due to the ban and competition from the Nepal Tea industry.

India is one of the world’s major producers and exporters of tea. There are nearly 100,000 tea workers in Siliguri alone.

The amount of tea sold from the region globally every year is in excess of 40,000 tonnes. The annual tea production is estimated to be 10,000 million tones. (ANI)

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