Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today reduced the bonus for kendu leaf pluckers from 100% to 50%, while for binders, the bonus was slashed from 20% to 10%. The decision regarding the same was taken at a meeting of the Kendu Leaf Development Board chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The bonus was reduced on account of GST & losses on inventory due to adverse climatic conditions, informed Forest & Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha.

"Due to change in climatic conditions and implementation of GST, revenue generated from Kendu leaf business has been adversely affected," Arukha said.

It is estimated that nearly 8 lakh kendu leaf pluckers will be affected due to the change in bonus.

CM Naveen also announced that Rs 222 crore will be sanctioned for bonus and incentives for kendu leaf pluckers, binders and temporary labourers for the year 2018.