Agri Business

State ready to run Duncan’s tea gardens: Mamata Banerjee

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 03, 2015

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

CID initiates probe against Duncans for alleged non-payment of wages to tea estate workers

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her government was ready to run non-functioning tea gardens of GP Goenka-promoted Duncans Industries Ltd.

“If Duncan cannot run its tea estates, they can quit. We will run the tea estates,” the Chief Minister said according to a PTI report. She was speaking at a public meeting there.

Duncans has 16 tea gardens in North Bengal; and has been in the news over alleged starvation death of tea workers.

Banerjee’s announcement comes a day after the West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) initiated a probe against Duncans for alleged non-payment of wages to tea estate workers. Cases of cheating and breach of trust has been initiated by the investigating agency.

CID probe

According to Vineet Goyal, Inspector General (II), CID, a police case was registered earlier in Darjeeling after which the matter was taken up by the CID. GP Goenka, Non-Executive Chairman, Duncans, and his son, Shrivardhan, have been named in the complaints, Goyal said.

The CID had summoned the company top brass, including Goenka for questioning yesterday. While Goenka did not appear either on Monday or today; other representatives of the company were interrogated.

Shrivardhan steps down

Meanwhile, Shrivardhan Goenka has stepped down as Director of Duncans. GP Goenka is the non-executive Chairman since May 14, 2015.

The company, in a late evening notification yesterday, informed BSE that “the resignation as submitted by Shrivardhan Goenka vide his letter dated October 7, 2015 with immediate effect from the Board of Directors of the Company has been noted.” The company has also sought permission from the Registrar of Companies to defer its annual general meeting because of “temporary disruption of operations at some of the tea estates” leading to “some delay” in obtaining the operating and financial data.

The company stock closed at ₹14.75, down 2.32 per cent at the BSE.

Published on November 03, 2015
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