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15 Dec 2016

Workers pay price for cash crunch

TT, Jalpaiguri, Dec. 14: Arjun Chhetri, a worker at the Sikarpur-Bhandapur Tea Estate in Rajganj block, had no idea how he would carry his wage back home which he received yesterday afternoon.
Arjun, who got Rs 1,410 as his wage of the immediate past fortnight, got half of his pay in coins of different denominations like several others of the garden.
The reason: the bank from where the management had withdrawn cash for paying wages to 1,951 people had paid Rs 10 lakh in coins.
"We used to stand in queues during lunch hours and get the wages within 15-20 minutes and join work again. The situation was entirely different yesterday. I had to stand in queue for around an hour after which I reached the counter in the garden office," Arjun said.
As he reached near the counter, the clerical staff paid him Rs 710 in currency notes. "They then started counting coins. It took some time and once I was handed over the coins, I counted them again to confirm that I had been paid my due wage," Arjun said.
"I wasn't carrying any bag and somehow managed to put the coins in my pocket. It was impossible to join my work in the plantations. So, I left for my quarter to keep the money," the worker said.
Sushanta Bagchi, the garden's manager, said: "The entire money was meant for wage payment. We had to open more counters to expedite the payment."

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