Government considers taking back loss making plantation companies

Government considers taking back loss making plantation companies

The Government is considering taking back loss making plantation companies and is to appoint a committee to make recommendations on the matter.

Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said that the committee will decide the best way forward for 22 plantation companies given on lease by the government.

He said if these companies are unable to even pay the daily wage of their employees then it is better to cut short the lease and give them over to new owners.

Plantation companies had recently insisted that no final decision had been taken on the Rs. 1700 minimum daily wage despite an announcement made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe at a May Day rally.

In a May Day rally in Kotagala, the President had said that the Rs. 1700 minimum daily wage for plantation workers will come into effect from May.

Issuing a statement later, the Planters’ Association of Ceylon said that there had been widespread media coverage following an announcement published in Gazette No. 2382/04 on the 30th of April about proposed wage increases for Tea Growing and Manufacturing Trade, and Rubber & Raw Rubber Manufacturing Trade, and subsequent remarks made by the President in a speech he delivered on the 1st of May at Kotagala to commemorate Labour Day, which will be applicable for the Regional Plantation Company workers too.

The Planters Association of  Sri Lanka and its members were concerned that the President’s remarks may be misunderstood and lead workers and the public to assume that a final decision had been taken in this matter when it has not.

The Planters Association of  Sri Lanka had said that neither the effective date – on which the new proposed minimum payment will be applicable – nor the quantum of such payment has, as yet, been determined. (Colombo Gazette)

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