Demonetisation Day 28: Notes ban halts work at Bengal jute mill

Kolkata: On the 28th day of demonetisation today, a work suspension notice was put up at Shree Hanuman Jute Mill in West Bengal’s Howrah district on Tuesday morning due to the demonetisation of high value currency notes.

The management was not able to pay about 20-25 per cent workers of the jute mill in cash due to banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, an official of the mill said.

“Due to demonetisation of high value currency, wage payments of about 20-25 per cent workers were delayed. They do not have bank accounts and we are not able to pay them through cheque or by electronic transfers. We were forced to put up the notice because they were agitating and deteriorating mill’s working condition,” Dhan Kumar Patni, one of the owner of the jute mill said.

Following it, 2,000 workers have been rendered jobless.

Workers demanded demonetisation was an “excuse” and the management was not able to pay wages in time.

“It was unfortunate the management put the notice. Workers have been working for last 40 days without a payment. The management cited that workers’ payment was not made due to demonetisation,” local lawmaker and West Bengal Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Laxmi Ratan Shukla told IANS.

Shukla, a cricketer tuned politician, also said, “We will call for a meeting in a day or so to open the mill as soon as possible.”

The management demanded that the “process of opening of the bank accounts” of workers were “on” and it would take “some time” to cover “all the workers for paying through banking channel”.

“There were about 2,000 workers and dues of wage payment would be around Rs 15 lakh,” Patni added.