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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Cash to check spouse vices
Indian liquor outlet
The company rewards employees who abstain
By Adam Mynott in Delhi

An Indian company is celebrating the success of a scheme where it pays the wives of its workers to control their husbands' smoking and drinking.

The cash incentives are paid not to the male employees of the chemical company, but to their spouses.

The boss of a chemical company in Kunrool in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India decided to reward workers who do not smoke and refuse to drink alcohol.

But, in what he considers to be a very astute move, TG Venkatesh decided to give the incentive payments to the wives of his workers and not to the men themselves.

The wives get a five dollar monthly allowance if their husbands keep off the cigarettes, and an extra five dollars if they keep away from the bottle.

Mr Venkatesh came up with the idea after two close friends died, one from lung cancer, the other from alcohol abuse.

He says that over 99% of his 1,200 employees stick to the regime.

And although it costs him nearly $150,000 a year, he says his reward comes in the shape of a very loyal and highly disciplined workforce.

See also:

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09 Jun 99 | South Asia
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26 Jul 99 | Health
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