Bhubaneswar: Reviewing the progress of kendu leaf operations in the State on Monday, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra asked officials to adopt a mechanism for quick disbursal of claims of kendu leaf workers.
A technology-based faster mechanism needs to be adopted at the earliest for claim settlement if any, he said while chairing the second meeting of the Kendu Leaf Co-ordination Committee, here today.
As per the available data, a total of 2.775 lakh quintals of kendu leaves were produced in the year 2022 against the target of 2.782 lakh quintals, thus achieving 99.8 per cent of the post-collection target.
The Committee was apprised that Rs.409.16 crore has already been spent and Rs.12.94 crore more is likely to be spent during February-March 2023. On sale of 2022 KL Crop, 2.19 lakh quintals have already been sold fetching Rs.509.98 crore. The expected Sale Value for 2022 KL Crop is Rs.570 crore and Trade Surplus is Rs.90 crore, it was told.
PCCF, Kendu Leaf Pusa Zhule Mekro appraised that Rs.133.60 crore has already been disbursed to Kendu leaf beneficiaries during 2022 towards various welfare measures out of Trade Surplus of 2021 KL Crop. Besides, Rs.83.16 crore has been disbursed to 8.12 lakh pluckers, binders and seasonal staff as financial assistance towards a special package declared by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently.
An App ‘KL Anukampa’ with the help of ORSAC will be launched within a month for filling of death claim cases, she informed, adding that a coffee table book would also be launched soon highlighting the activities both at departmental level and by KL workers.
Forest, Environment & Climate Change Additional Chief Secretary Mona Sharma, Water Resources Additional Chief Secretary Anu Garg, Principal Secretary for Finance Vishal kumar Dev along with other senior officers from Forest & Environment Department participated in the discussion.