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World Bank unit's wage scandal at Tata tea estates a lesson in due diligence

Women pick tea at a plantation in Assam. (Photo by Yuji Kuronuma)

NEW DELHI -- A World Bank Group lender's credibility has been threatened over questions involving its investment in the tea plantation unit run by Indian conglomerate Tata group, following complaints that the company pays workers just half the minimum wage.

India is the world's second-largest tea producer, and Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd. is the second-biggest player in that country. APPL grew out of a business founded by a British man in the 19th century before becoming part of the Tata group, and was part of Tata Tea until 2007.

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