President appoints committee to address issues in tea industry

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President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed a Special Committee to present solutions after studying the short and long term issues related to the tea industry, including the wage issue of the estate workers.

The President’s Media Division (PMD) said this committee was appointed yesterday (13) during a special discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat regarding the wage issue of the plantation workers.

Accordingly, President’s Chief of Staff H. M. P. Hitisekara, Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation Industries J.A. Ranjith, Secretary to the Ministry of Labour R.P.R. Rajapaksa, Secretary to the Treasury Dr. R.H.S Samaratunga, Chairman of Tea Board W.L.P. Wijewardena, Commissioner General of Labour J. Wimalaweera, Chairman of the Tea Small Holdings Development Authority, a representative representing Planters’ Association of Ceylon, Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners Association, Sri Lanka Tea Brokers’ Association and Tea Exporters Association of Sri Lanka have been appointed for the committee.

The aim of this committee is to address issues related to the tea industry and to accelerate the steps that should be taken to develop the industry and to increase the welfare activities implemented for the benefit of the workers engaged in the industry.

The committee report is to be submitted to the President within a month.

The obstacles that have arisen in the process of raising the salaries of the tea industry workers and the issues that have arisen in the field of tea exports were also broadly discussed at this meeting.

Secretary to the President Mr Udaya R. Senevirathne, relevant Ministry Secretaries, public servants, veteran cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, representatives of the Associations related to the tea industry and others have participated in this meeting, the PMD said.