The government will consider increasing the daily wages of labourers in the agro-farm sector in view of the current surging trend in the prices of essential commodities, said Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque on Saturday.
"At present Tk600 to Tk700 is needed for purchasing a kilogramme of beef whereas a labourer of agro farm earns Tk500 only a day which is too meager to make a decent living. We will consider increasing their (agro farm labourers') daily wages," said Dr Md Abdur Razzaque while addressing as the chief guest the 7th National Convention of Bangladesh Agro Farm Labourers Federation at the auditorium of Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh in the capital.
Mentioning agriculture as a season-based or seasonal sector, he said the labourers in the sector do not have work all time in the year so it was essential to ensure just and rational wages for them.
On the demand for giving the jobs of labourers who work at the government agro farms a permanent shape, the minister said it was a little bit difficult to regularise their jobs.
He, however, said some issues like determining their wages during off-season is also a factor to consider regularisation of their jobs.
Besides, he said there was a wide-spread allegation that most of the labourers do not like to work after getting their jobs regularised.
"However, we will take initiative after consultation with the Prime Minister in this regard," he said.
Mr Razzaque said the present government is agriculture-friendly as it allocated Tk300 billion subsidy for fertilisers annually.
He said due to high prices of fertilisers, the government has to give subsidy of Tk300 billion (only for fertilisers) annually to keep the agriculture sector vibrant and also for increased food production.
The minister also called upon all leftists, farmers, labourers and pro-liberation forces to get united against all anti-liberation and anti-state forces. .
Member of Parliament and also adviser to Bangladesh Agro Farm Labourers Federation Rashed Khan Menon delivered welcome address at the conference.
Vice-president of the federation Mahmudul Hasan presided over the event where workers from government farms were also present, among others.