Plantation Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana has said the government finds it difficult to regulate the private sector estate companies due to flaws in lease agreements.
Minister Pathirana said so while chairing a recent Ministerial Consultative Committee meeting on Plantation Industries.
The Committee decided to seek a meeting with President Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss the issue.
The Chair pointed out to the members present that post leasing, the private sector plantation companies at present showed more interest in industries other than the planting of tea, rubber, etc. They did not maintain the estates properly and were not interested in the welfare facilities of their employees. The Committee agreed that the government did not have a proper mechanism to monitor the activities of such estate companies.
The members brought to the attention of the Committee that some big estate companies paid very low wages and even basic facilities were not provided to workers on some estates.
The Minister said that most of the companies did not bother to develop infrastructure.