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Odisha government announced a slew of benefits amounting to Rs 87.50 crore for kendu leaf workers

Bhubaneswar:31/5/20: The Odisha government on Saturday announced a slew of benefits amounting to Rs 87.50 crore for around 8.35 lakh kendu leaf workers who are facing a rough phase due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The beneficiaries include about eight lakh pluckers, who are the poorest of the poor and mostly women, about 17,500 binders and over 17,500 seasonal staff, an official statement said.

As a special incentive, a bonus of 25 percent will be given to over 7.89 lakh registered kendu leaf pluckers in view of their plight during the nationwide lockdown fuelled by coronavirus outbreak. The total amount will be to the tune of Rs 27.25 crore, it said.

The government also enhanced the price of each kendu leaf bundle (comprising 20 leaves) by 20 percent, from Re 1 to Rs 1.20 during 2020 kendu leaf crop year.

“This will result in additional benefit of about Rs 32 crore to around eight lakh pluckers in the state,” it said.
Similarly, an incentive of five percent of wages will be given to 17,345 registered kendu leaf binders involving a total amount of Rs 1.26 crore.

The government also announced an incentive for 17,444 unorganised seasonal staff who will get an additional five percent of their wages which will entail a total amount of Rs 2.82 crore.

This apart, the state government has decided to provide Rs 200 to each plucker for purchasing water bottles, it said, adding that an amount of Rs 15.77 crore will be spent for the purpose.

The financial assistance being provided by the government will be credited to the bank account of the kendu leaf pluckers through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.

About Ashok Palit

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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