Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Boudh, Nov 9:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced 100 percent bonus for kendu leave pluckers of the state for the year 2016.
Patnaik, who was on a day-long tour of Boudh and Subarnpur districts today, also announced that the scheme will benefit 8.5 lakh kendu leave pluckers and will cost the state exchequer Rs 130 crore.
Addressing a public gathering in Boudh, the Chief Minister said, “The allowances of kendu leave pluckers and temporary workers have been increased from 10 percent to 20 percent. It will benefit 40 thousand workers and Rs 20 crore will be spent on it”.
He further announced that the government will provide Rs 4,000 to temporary workers, peons and clerks Rs 4,000 to buy bicycles and financially support their children in higher studies.
According to a notification issued by the Chief Minister’s Office, the government has also increased the kendu leave plucking fee for agricultural year 2017. While the plucking fee for a bunch consisting of 20 leaves used to be 70 paise earlier, it will be 80 paise in 2017.
It further adds that the disability assistance for the temporary workers, peons and clerks will be increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000. Further, their medical assistance will be increased to Rs 2,00,000 and Rs 25,000 will be provided to them for their daughter’s marriage.
To sweeten the deal further for the Kendu leave pluckers, the government also announced to facilitate them with water bottles, specially designed clothes to be used while plucking leaves and caps. In addition, the government plans to spend Rs 6 Lakh each for multipurpose shelter homes for them.