The Odisha government on Tuesday announced Rs 222 crore bonus and other incentives for Kendu pluckers, binders and other labourers for the leaf season 2018. In the meeting of the State Kendu Leaf Development Board conducted under the chairmanship of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, it was announced that the amounts have been reduced by 50 percent from 100 percent for Kendu pluckers and 10 percent from 20 percent for binders and labourers.
“It has been decided that the Kendu leaf pluckers will be given 50 percent bonus in the current year, binders and labourers will be given 10 percent incentive, in addition, financial assistance will also be provided to them for their daughter’s wedding. It is due to the inclement weather conditions in Odisha and GST implementation, revenue generated from Kendu leaf business has been adversely affected,” State Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Arukh said.
“Chief Minister has already written to the Centre earlier and today also we have requested to exempt GST from Kendu leaf,” he added. According to the state government, there are 8,52,000 Kendu leaf pluckers, 20,650 binders and 17,860 temporary labourers at present.