Estate workers who have been agitating for a Rs. 1,000 daily wage will receive from April a total of Rs.800 following the government’s intervention to provide Rs. 50 in addition to the other allowances for a period of one year, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced.Speaking at a media briefing, he said that the daily wage which stood at Rs.700 was increased to Rs.720 following the signing of the Collective Agreement. Estate workers however continued to agitate and launched strikes demanding a revision of the wage. The minister added they would now receive Rs.800 inclusive of EPF and ETF deductions.
He said the new wage would come into effect from the month of April onwards and would be in effect for a period of one year. The decision to add Rs.50 was made following discussions with Tamil Progressive Alliance MPs Mano Ganesan, MP Digambaram and V. Radhakrishnan.
In addition to the increase of the daily wage, the Minister in his Budget proposal that the government was keen on meeting the housing needs of the vulnerable sectors of the society. “Our strategy has also been to address the issue of providing better housing for, specially the most vulnerable sectors of the society, including the low income groups in Urban, Rural and Estate sectors and the North and the East, mainly through the Urban Re-generation Project (URP) and Model Village Program, for which Rs.24,500 million. has already been allocated in 2019.”