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West Bengal to give Rs 2000 to unemployed auto workers

he West Bengal government will give a one-time grant of Rs.2000 each to bus, minibus, taxi and auto-rickshaw workers who have been rendered unemployed following the ban on commercial vehicles over 15 years old in Kolkata.

Making the announcement at a programme organised by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) here, Labour Minister Anadi Sahu said 25,000-30,000 workers have been affected due to the court-imposed ban.

Sahu also said the government will give a subsidy of Rs.50,000, Rs.30,000, Rs.20,000 and Rs. 10,000 respectively to bus, minibus, taxi and auto-rickshaw operators who purchase new vehicles in place of the banned ones.

In July 2008, the Calcutta High Court had ordered a ban on commercial vehicles registered before Jan 1, 1993 from Kolkata Metropolitan Area, which includes parts of North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly districts.

The ban was to come into effect Dec 31, 2008, but was put off till July 31 following a government plea. The order was finally implemented from Aug 1.

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