Dholaguri becomes the first tea garden in Assam to have ATM

| Updated: Nov 29, 2016 13:52 IST

Golaghat (Assam) [India], Nov.29 (ANI): In a bid to ease the cash crunch post the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, the State Bank of India (SBI) has installed an ATM machine inside the Dholaguri Tea Estate in Golaghat District to ensure weekly disbursement of wages. The bank came to the aid of the tea garden owner, as he couldn't disperse weekly wages to his staff on time. Till the installation of the ATM, the wages of the labourers were being dispersed through the district deputy commissioner's office after the actual amount was received from the owner. Dholaguri has become the first tea garden to have access to an ATM, exclusively meant for workers staying inside the garden. The ATM was inaugurated by Pallab Lochan Das, Assam's Minister of Power and Labour in the presence of P.V.S.L.N Murthy, Chief General Manager of SBI, Northeast Region, yesterday. Das assured the tea working community that the state government would install additional ATM machines in all tea gardens of the state at the earliest. He further urged the SBI and other nationalised banks to extend micro business and housing loans to the tea labourers as a majority of them were ignorant about such schemes. He also requested the district administration, tea garden owners and bank officials to organise frequent awareness programmes about various schemes and benefits that one can avail from banks and also to educate or demonstrate on how to operate an ATM in the garden areas. "There is no dearth of ATM machines. If they (garden owners) write to us, we will definitely install the ATM machine," said Murthy. He further said that the garden workers need not go to the SBI office as he would depute his staff inside the garden to assist in the opening of an account or in the operation of an ATM till December 5. President of the Dholaguri Tea Garden Worker's Union Deepak Kajur said the new ATM would benefit the workers as they could now save some of their earnings in the bank. (ANI)