The Cabinet on Monday approved the Plantation Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2008, which seeks to improve health, safety and welfare norms for workers employed in tea, rubber and other plantations.

The bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on October 10, 2008 and then referred to a Standing Committee of Parliament.

The Cabinet today approved the amendments suggested by the Standing Committee, paving the way for tabling of the new Plantation Labour (Amendment) Bill, 2008 in the Upper House.

The bill envisages safety precautions to be taken by plantation owners for storage, utilisation and handling of agro-chemicals. It would also regulate employment of women as well as children below 14 years of age in handling hazardous chemicals in plantations.

The new legislation would benefit plantation workers in States like West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, among others.

It would regulate work timings, health, safety and welfare of the plantation workers.

The plantation employers would also be bound by Workmen’s Compensation Act once the new law comes into force.

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