Boost for Kendu Leaf Workers: Odisha CM Announces ₹150-Cr Package; Full Breakdown Inside

Bhubaneswar: In a major boost for the livelihoods of Kendu leaf pluckers, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a slew of welfare measures today. These initiatives aim to improve income, expand social security, and support families engaged in this vital sector.

Effective immediately, Kendu leaf pluckers will receive a 50% bonus for the ongoing crop season, disbursed through direct benefit transfer (DBT). Additionally, binders and seasonal staff within the sector will benefit from a 10% incentive, with seasonal employees securing an extra month of employment.

Further empowering workers, the Odisha state government has increased the price of Kendu leaves. A bundle of 20 leaves now costs Rs 1.60, up from Rs 1.40, while a bundle of 40 leaves is priced at Rs 3.20, up from Rs 2.80.

Moreover, the government has approved a revision in wages for seasonal staff, alongside a 50% hike in travelling and cycle allowances. Notably, Kendu leaf pluckers can now avail social security measures until the age of 62.

Highlighting support for familial events, the government will provide Rs 25,000 in financial assistance for the wedding of daughters of Kendu leaf pluckers during the upcoming crop season, with a limit of two daughters per plucker.

These initiatives are set to benefit approximately 9 lakh workers, with an estimated expenditure of Rs 150 crore by the state government.

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