BHUBANESWAR: The state government will make a provision of Rs 222 crore for payment of bonus and incentive to pluckers, binders and temporary employees involved in kendu leaf trade for 2018 crop year.
The decision was announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the meeting of Kendu Leaf Development Board held here on Tuesday. Official sources said 8.52 lakh pluckers, 20,650 binders and 17,860 temporary employees are involved in kendu leaf trade.
One crore man-days are created for them through the kendu leaf trade.
Stating that kendu leaf plays a key role in the overall development of the state, the Chief Minister said Scheduled Tribes and persons belonging to economically weaker section mostly work in this sector.
Kendu leaf trade helps in economic development of weaker sections and the state government utilises a major portion of the profit from it for their benefit, Naveen said.
The state government has launched several schemes for welfare of kendu leaf workers including provision of marriage assistance for daughters of pluckers and binders, medical assistance for them, payment of compensation in case of death or disability of any plucker or binder and scholarships for their children.
Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, Chief Secretary AP Padhi, Development Commissioner Asit Tripathy and senior officials attended the meeting.