New Delhi: Parliament today passed a
legislation dealing with the rights of plantation labourers
across the country which provides for insurance, health,
education and other benefits to the workers.
Plantations of Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2010, moved by
Minister of State for Labour and Employment Harish Rawat, was
passed by the Lok Sabha today. It seeks to amend the
Plantations Labour Act, 1951, that had become archaic. Rajya
Sabha has already passed this bill.
The new legislation would provide for the rights of
labourers in rubber, tea, cinnamon, chinchona and other
plantations across the country.
It ensures insurance, health benefits, education,
creches for kids of employees, cleanliness and better living
conditions, harsher punishments for erring owners, among other
benefits for the labourers.
The new law also provides for equal rights of women
The state governments will have the power and
responsibility of implementing the new law.
However, during the debate on the Bill, Bijoya
Chakravarty (BJP) said the new law has a "British frame of
mind". She demanded that Sundays should be pay days and proper
hospitals for workers.
Some of the speakers demanded that wages of labourers
should be made at least Rs 100 per day as is done under NREGA.
Chakravarty demanded formation of a National Wage Board.
Paban Singh Ghatowar (Cong) lamented that the new
legislation did not have any provision of housing for
P T Thomas (Cong) said labourers in some plantations had
been living like animals and welcomed the bill which is
expected to change their living conditions.