Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced a special package for the welfare of kendu leaf pluckers and other employees. It will benefit around 8 lakh kendu leaf pluckers, binders, and other seasonal staff associated with it.
Patnaik said that his government has always been working for the welfare of kendu leaf pluckers and other workers. Odisha is the first state in the country to give bonus to kendu leaf pluckers. This policy has become a model for other states.
After having three discussions in the past week over various problems faced by the kendu leaf pluckers, the Chief Minister announced the following package keeping in mind the interest of kendu leaf pluckers and other employees.
• In the first phase, Rs 1000 will be given to each plucker and 15000 rupees to each seasonal staff.
• All kendu leaf pluckers and employees will be included in Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY).
• Stipends will be provided to the children of kendu leaf pluckers and other employees. Meritorious students will be awarded at the district level.
• Gratuity payment for circle checkers and binding checkers will be increased from seven days to 15 days.
• All pluckers will be issued an identity card.
• The central government has imposed 18% GST on kendu leaf business. It’s too much. Patnaik again raised demanded the central government to completely abolish GST on kendu leaf.