Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik seeks withdrawal of GST on Kendu Leaves

TNI Bureau: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has once again asked the Centre to withdraw GST on kendu (tendu) leaves.

In a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Odisha CM said that imposition of 18% GST  on kendu (tendu) leaves is adversely affecting the kendu leaves trade. This in turn affects the livelihoods of Kendu leaves pluckers, binders and seasonal workers and implementation of social security and welfare schemes for them.

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The CM further said that the minor forest produce is the financial backbone of eight lakh Kendu leaf pluckers, binders and seasonal workers of Odisha. “The Kendu leaf pluckers and workers are mostly tribal and women belonging to the poorest of the poor of the society. The tribal people collect the leaves as part of their rights defined under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. They have the right to procure and sell these products”, Naveen said.

In the interest of a large section of the people dependent upon Kendu (Tendu) leaves for their livelihood, the CM therefore, once again requested to withdraw the imposition of GST on Kendu (Tendu) leaves for the greater interest of Odisha.

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