Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced that Rs 222 crore bonus and cash rewards will be given to workers engaged in Kendu Leaf trade for 2018 harvest year.

According to the discussion at the meeting, at present 8,52,000 Kendu Leaf pluckers, 20,650 binding workers, and 17,860 casual workers are engaged in Kendu Leaf trade in the state. The Kendu Leaf trade is creating 1 crore working day for them in a year.

“Kendu Leaf trade plays a pivotal role in the development of the state. People belonging to the tribal community and economically weaker sections are working in the trade. The bonus and cash reward will help in their social and economic development,” the CM said.

“The profits earned from Kendu Leaf trade will be spent for the development of the tribal community and Kendu Leaf pluckers have been accepted as partners,” the CM added.

Notably, the state government has implemented various welfare programmes for the development of Kendu Leaf pluckers, binding workers and casual workers. Uniforms and slippers for pluckers, mosquito nets and blankets for workers, marriage aids for the girls of pluckers and workers, compensation for death and permanent damage and scholarships for the children of the workers are some of the programmes implemented by the government.