Bhubaneswar: Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra on Monday directed to adopt mechanism for quick disbursal of claims of kendu leaf workers while reviewing the progress of kendu leaf operations in the State.
Chairing the 2nd meeting of the Kendu Leaf Coordination Committee (KLCC) through virtual mode Mahapatra said that a technology based faster mechanism needs to be adopted at the earliest for claim settlement if any.
The PCCF, Kendu Leaf Pusa Zhule Mekro presented the updates and outlined issues for discussion at the meeting.
Available data at the meeting showed that during 2022 kendu leaf (KL) crop, production of 2.775 lakh quintals of KL have been achieved against the target of 2.782 lakh quintals.
The production achieved is 99.8% of the post collection target. Regarding Working fund Expenditure made during 2022 KL Crop (till January,2023), the Committee was appraised during the discussion that Rs 409.1677 crore have already been spent and another expenditure of Rs 12.94 crore is likely to be made during coming February and March.
On sale of 2022 KL Crop, 2.19 lakh quintals have already been sold fetching Sale Value of Rs 509.98 crore. The anticipated Sale Value for 2022 KL Crop is Rs 570.00 crore and anticipated Trade Surplus is Rs 90 crore.
Mekro appraised that Rs 133.60 crore have already been disbursed to kendu leaf beneficiaries during 2022 towards various welfare measures out of Trade Surplus of 2021 KL Crop.
Besides, Rs 83.16 crore have been disbursed to 8.12 lakh nos. of pluckers, binders and seasonal staff as financial assistance towards Special package declared by the Chief Minister recently.
An App ‘KL Anukampa’ with the help of ORSAC will be launched within a month for filling of death claim cases. A Coffee Table Book will also be unveiled shortly highlighting the activities both at the departmental level and by kendu leaf workers, Mekro said.
In 2021, out of 2.651 lakh quintals of production of KL Crop, 2.63 lakh quintals have already been sold with sale value of Rs 596.48 crore. Rs.92.18 crore have been disbursed to kendu leaf beneficiaries during 2021 towards various welfare measures out of Trade Surplus of 2020 KL Crop.
Forest, Environment & Climate Change Additional Chief Secretary Mona Sharma, Water Resources Additional Chief Secretary Anu Garg, Principal Secretary for Finance Vishal Kumar Dev along with other senior officers from Forest & Environment department participated in discussion.