West Bengal Allows 100% Workforce Deployment in Tea Gardens, Jute Mills from June 1

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said deployment of 100% workforce in tea gardens and jute mills will be allowed from June 1.

Earlier, the state government had given consent for only 25% deployment to allow skiffing and then 50% for resumption of plucking operations in the tea gardens of north Bengal.

The tea industry welcomed the move, which was being sought by associations and companies.

"We welcome the state government's decision to allow 100% workforce," said secretary-general of Indian Tea Association (ITA) Arijit Raha. ITA had estimated that crop loss due to the lockdown will be close to 140 million kg and revenue loss at around Rs 2,100 crore for Assam and West Bengal.

The jute industry also welcomed the decision to allow millers to operate with 100% workforce as the sector is reeling under a supply backlog for packaging foodgrains in the wake of the lockdown.

The supply backlog mounted to 2.5 lakh bales for the current rabi season as the mills with a reduced workforce have been struggling to meet the jute bags requirement of the government sector amid the lockdown, an industry official said.