Assam Cabinet nods for new division; Gogoi announces more sops for tea workers

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Guwahati, October 9: Enhancing the maximum gratuity benefit of workers from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh, the Tarun Gogoi-led Assam government on Thursday announced more sops for the tea community ahead of the assembly elections. A cabinet meeting held at the official residence of the Chief Minister approved the Assam Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to bring about “benefits to workers of tea gardens and tea factories at par with employees in other industrial establishments”.

“The Act has been amended keeping in view the changed circumstances, industrial growth, increased price index etc. The Assam Gratuity Act, 1992 (Assam Act XIII of 1993) was enacted in 1993 to provide gratuity benefits to the employees in tea gardens and tea factories in the State,” an official statement said later.
The cabinet also approved the proposal for Reorganization of the Divisions of the State for smooth functioning of administration. While the territorial area of Upper Assam Division remains unchanged, the districts of Darrang and Udalguri are included in the North Assam Division. Nagaon and Morigaon districts have been excluded from this division. The headquarters of this division will be based in Tezpur.

Darrang and Udalguri districts have been excluded from the Lower Assam Division. The Barak Valley Division includes Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts with headquarters in Silchar. The territorial jurisdiction of Central Assam Division includes the districts of Nagaon, Morigaon and two hills districts i.e., Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao with headquarters in Nagaon, news agency The Sentinel reported.

The cabinet also approved the proposal for revival of the joint venture company M/s Prag Bosimi Synthetics Ltd. (PBSL). The Assam Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (AIDC) will invest Rs 65 crore for revival of its joint venture company M/S Prag Bosimi Synthetics Ltd. (PBSL).

It approved the amendment of Assam Ministerial District Establishment Service (Amendment) Rule, 2015. As per amendment, after extending 10 years of qualifying service, a person will be eligible for promotion to the post of Head Assistant, instead of the existing 15 years of service. Graduation will be the minimum educational qualification instead of Higher Secondary, for recruitment to the post of Junior Assistant in the establishment of Deputy Commissioner.

The cabinet approved the policy for reservation in promotion for persons with disabilities and other concessions. There will be relaxation in the upper age limit of persons with disabilities by 10 years in case of Grade III and Grade IV posts and by 5 years in case of Grade I and Grade II posts.

Moreover, there will be exemption from payment of fees in case of competitive examinations. There are altogether 4,80,065 persons with disabilities in the State as per 2011 Census.

The cabinet also approved the guidelines for ‘Nabou’ scheme announced by Chief Minister in the 2015-16 budget for extending financial support for Rs 10,000 each to 200 poor widows in each LAC. It also approved the guidelines for ‘Baideu’ scheme for extending financial assistance for Rs 10,000 each to 300 unmarried women (aged between 40-60) per LAC.

It approved the guidelines for ‘Na-Buari’ scheme to extend financial assistance for Rs 10,000 each to BPL families for performing marriage of their unmarried girls. It approved the Assam Backward Classes Commission (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2015 replacing the existing provisions of constitution of the Commission regarding nomination of a chairperson of eminence, ability and integrity from a wider talent pool.

Meanwhile, the Assam government has asked the DCs to submit reports on the status of ceiling surplus land in tea gardens of their districts. The government plans to acquire the surplus garden lands to provide housing facilities to tea workers.

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