A discussion on this regard was held at the Department of Labor yesterday (24) under the patronage of the Minister of Labor Nimal Siripala de Silva.
The discussion was also attended by Minister of State Jeewan Thondaman, MP Wadiwel Suresh, former Provincial Minister Senthil Thondaman and other plantation union leaders, representatives of plantation companies including Director General of the Employers' Federation Kanishka Weerasinghe.
Speaking at the event, the minister said that it was "surprising" that these estates continued to run despite being said to be maintained at a loss, and that it was questionable whether the plantation companies were acting as 'charities'.
If they are incurring heavy losses, the estates can be returned to the government, that is completely capable of maintaining them in a profitable manner, the minister pointed out.
Despite the large sums of money given to the plantation companies, the government also is engaged in construction of estate houses and the development of infrastructure including roads, he added.
He also noted that plantation companies also save a lot as the government is in charge of health facilities of the estate area and continues to invest a large amount of money annually for this.
Noting that many plantation companies have failed to provide their employees even with basic necessities such as drinking water, sanitation and housing, the minister emphasised that this government is committed to ensure social justice to estate communities.