Indian Tea Association hails Bengal govt's decision to allow skiffing; 15% of workforce to be deployed on rotational basis

Chairman of Chamong Tea A Lohia said the order would be more significant for the gardens in Dooars and Terai, and not for those in Darjeeling.

Press Trust of India April 10, 2020 14:11:25 IST
Indian Tea Association hails Bengal govt's decision to allow skiffing; 15% of workforce to be deployed on rotational basis

Kolkata: The Indian Tea Association (ITA) on Friday hailed the West Bengal government's decision to allow 15 percent of labour force to work on a rotational basis to cut the old leaves at the gardens.

The government allowed skiffing, deploying 15 percent of the regular workforce at a time maintaining social distancing norms and proper hygiene.

Indian Tea Association hails Bengal govts decision to allow skiffing 15 of workforce to be deployed on rotational basis

Representational image. Reuters

"We welcome the move of the state government. Let there be a start. Production has to start as plucking time is coming," ITA''s secretary-general Arijit Raha told PTI.

Skiffing, Raha said, is the process of cutting older leaves so that new ones can grow.

All the tea gardens in West Bengal are shut since the lockdown started on 25 April.

Chairman of Darjeeling Tea Association (DTA) Binod Mohan said that the government is going step by step to allow the tea gardens to function.

"We welcome the government''s move of allowing 15 per cent of the workforce on a rotational basis. This is important keeping in mind the safety issues of labourers," Mohan said.

Chairman of Chamong Tea A Lohia said the order would be more significant for the gardens in Dooars and Terai, and not for those in Darjeeling.

He said Darjeeling is passing through peak flushing period and skiffing there takes place in May.

The first flush is totally lost, he added.

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