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Odisha govt. distributes 43 cr among dependants on Kendu leaf trade

Odisha government distributed financial assistance to workers employed in Kendu leaf trade in several districts of the state on Sunday (HT)Premium
Odisha government distributed financial assistance to workers employed in Kendu leaf trade in several districts of the state on Sunday (HT)

Odisha govt disburses 43 crore to poor dependent on Kendu leaves on Sunday. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik also wrote a letter to the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urging the centre to withdraw 18 pc GST on kendu leaf trade

To provide relief to people engaged in the kendu leaf trade, the Odisha government on Sunday disbursed assistance worth 43 crore to kendu leaf pluckers, binders, and seasonal employees.

In light of a similar issue, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday appealed to the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a letter to withdraw 18 per cent GST on kendu leaf trade because it provides unemployment to poor people.

The money was disbursed at a program as part of the state government's special package for the poor people involved in the kendu leaf trade. Under the package, every kendu leaf plucker received 1000 and all the seasonal staff and binders were provided with 1,500 as a part of government's interim measures.

The assistance will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. On the occassion, CM Patnaik said he will always support the benefit of the poor and will continue to endeavour for their welfare.

Kendu leaf is a major forest product which is obtained to wrap bidis. The leaf trade generates employment for around 8 lakh people in the state. As of now, people of 12 districts got the assistance. People of Baragarh district will get it after the Model Code of Conduct imposed for the 5 December bypoll to Padampur assembly constituency is lifted.

(With inputs from PTI)

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