Odisha CM Announces Inclusion Of Kendu Leaf Pluckers In BSKY; Check Other Benefits

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced a special package for the welfare of kendu leaf pluckers and other employees. The package will benefit around 8 lakh kendu leaf pluckers, binders and other seasonal staff associated with it.

The Chief Minister announced the following package after three rounds of discussion in the past week over various problems faced by the kendu leaf pluckers:

  • Rs 1,000 will be given to each plucker and Rs 1,500 to each seasonal staff and binder in the first phase
  • 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. Besides, meritorious students will be awarded at the district level.
  • Gratuity payment for circle and binding checkers will be increased from seven days to 15 days.
  • All pluckers will be issued identity cards

The chief minister said that the government has always been working for the welfare of kendu leaf pluckers and other employees. “Odisha is the first state in the country to give bonus to kendu leaf pluckers. This policy has become a model for other states,” he said.

Naveen further said that the central government has imposed 18% GST on kendu leaf business. “I had earlier requested the central government to remove GST from kendu leaf business and I am again raising my demand to completely abolish GST system from the business,” he added.

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