The Odisha govenrment has announced 100 per cent bonus for the kendu leaf pluckers for the year 2016. This was announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday, while attending the different programmes held in Boudh and Sabarnapur districts. The bonus would benefit about 8.5 lakh kendu leaf pluckers and will cost around Rs 130 crore to the state govenrment. “The incentive for kendu leave pluckers and temporary workers have been increased from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. It will benefit 40 thousand workers and required Rs 20 crore,” Patnaik said. He further announced that the government will provide Rs 4,000 to temporary workers, peons and clerks for purchase of bicycles.
An official release issued by the chief minister’s office said the government has hiked price of one ‘Keri’ (one Keri comprises 20 leaves) of Kendu from 70 paise to 80 paise. The new price will remain effecitive all along the 2017 agricultural year, it said. The govenrment has raised the ex-gratia and invalid assistance amount for kendu leave pluckers from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for the temporary workers, peons and clerks. The medical assistance will also be increased to Rs 2,00,000 and Rs 25,000 will be provided to them for their daughter’s
Patnaik also announced that Rs 6 lakh will be spent for construction of multipurpose shelter homes for people engaged in the kendu leaf trade.