In a significant decision that will benefit the Kendu leaf pluckers of Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has ordered for hike in the collection price of Kendu leaf in the state thereby hiking the remuneration of the pluckers. As per a release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office, the government has hiked the prices of Kendu leaves for the 2022 crop season in both the process areas and fall areas. This will benefit more than 7.5 lakh kendu leaf pluckers. For this, the government will incur an extra expenditure of Rs 240 crores.
The government has also decided to give Rs 120 crore towards bonus and other financial benefits for the welfare of the kendu leaf pluckers and other employees. This will benefit nearly 8 lakh people including pluckers, binders and other seasonal staff engaged in the collection of Kendu leaves. The government has been utilising the entire trade surplus from the kendu leaf collections business for the benefit of the people associated with the collection of Kendu leaves who are mainly tribals.