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Demonetisation: Special Dispensation for Assam Tea Garden Labourers to ensure timely Payment of Wages

The move is expected to bring relief to over 800 small and big tea gardens in Assam

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Guwahati, November 13, 2016: In view of apprehensions that the Centre’s demonetisation move would affect wage disbursal to tea garden labour in Assam, the central government has made special arrangements for the tea gardens of the state to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers, state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday.

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The tea garden managements concerned would give a cheque of the amount required to disburse the weekly salary of the labourers to the Deputy Commissioners of the districts who would in turn withdraw the money from the bank and hand it over to the tea garden management, Sarma told media persons in Assam’s capital Dispur.

The move is expected to bring relief to over 800 small and big tea gardens in Assam which require around Rs 50 crore per week to pay wages to over ten lakh labourers.

The demonetisation move, it is feared, will hit the tea gardens where cash is the only mode of payment.

A number of tea garden managements and associations had approached the state government seeking assistance to handle the issue and fearing law and order situation in the gardens on pay day which varies from Friday to Sunday.

“Our government has taken up the matter with the Prime Minister’s Office, the central government and the Reserve Bank of India immediately. We are thankful that the government has responded so fast and arranged special dispensation for the tea gardens in the state,” Sarma said.

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“From now on, the Deputy Commissioners would receive the cheque required to pay wages to the labourers from the concerned tea gardens and withdraw the money from the bank and hand it over to the garden management for disbursement of their weekly wages,” he said.

He added that, in the process, the government would also have a correct data about the wages paid to the tea garden workers by the management.

The Assam government had several times appealed to the tea garden managements to increase the wages to the workers, but some gardens are yet to implement it.

The Minister admitted that the people of the state were facing problems due to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination banknotes and lack of sufficient currency in the ATMs but expressed confidence that the situation will be normal by next week.

“There are 3,115 ATMs of the State bank of India in Assam and all of them would be loaded with new currency notes by Sunday evening,” he said.

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“Out of the total ATMs, 2,900 have already been loaded with Rs 100 denomination banknotes,” he said.

SBI has so far disbursed Rs 3,654 crore in the entire northeastern states in the last two days, including Rs 2,600 crore in Assam alone.

“Apart from this, private banks are estimated to have disbursed another Rs 1,100 crore during these two days,” he said. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?