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New Delhi, Sept. 29

THE Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today enhanced the monthly wage limit for the workers of closed textile mills to Rs 3,500, from Rs 2,500 at present, to enable them to receive interim relief under the Textile Workers' Rehabilitation Fund Scheme.

The new monthly wage limit is effective April 1, 1993, instead of the February 2, 2002 date set earlier, an official release said.

Announcing the decision after the meeting, the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, said about 2,200 more workers across 43 mills would get benefits under the scheme following the relaxation of the limits. He said there would not be "much outgo" from the exchequer despite the relaxation of the norms.

The rehabilitation scheme was started in 1986 and provides interim relief for transitional adjustments to workers who lost their jobs as a result of closure of mills.

Since 1986 to 2005, 43 mills with a total of 95,381 workers have been found eligible under the scheme. According to the release, so far Rs 172.84 crore has been disbursed under the scheme covering 75,758 workers, indicating that a large number of workers were outside the purview of the scheme as they drew a wage more than Rs 2,500 per month.

The scheme is applicable to all textile mills closed on or after June 1985 and provides relief to the worker for three years.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 30, 2005)
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