Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced a bonus and incentive package of Rs 222 crore for Kendu leaf pluckers, binders and temporary employees for the 2018 Kendu Leaf crop year.
He made this announcement while presiding over a meeting of the Kendu Leaf Unnayan Board at the State Secretariat here.
It was revealed that there are 8,52,000 pluckers, 20,650 binder-workers and 17,860 temporary employees, totaling 9,90,510, engaged in Kendu leaf business. A total of one crore working days are being created for these workers.
“Kendu leaf business plays a vital role in overall development of the State. Adivasi and economically weaker people are engaged in the sector. The bonus and incentive would help them a lot,” said the Chief Minister.
The State Government spends the profit earned from the Kendu leaf business for welfare of the pluckers, binders and temporary workers. They are being provided dresses, chapals, mosquito nets and blankets, caps, marriage aid for their daughters, treatment assistance, ex gratia in case of deaths, education stipend for their children etc.
Among others, Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh, Chief Secretary AP Padhi, Development Commissioner Asit Tripathy, Forest and Environment ACS Suresh Mohapatra and Kendu Leaf Association president Bijay Mohanty and its other members.