Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today ordered complete waiver of the royalty on sal leaves. It will benefit about 25 lakh people in the State.
Currently, Rs 80 was being collected per quintal of sal leaves. Sal leaves is the only source of income for forest dwellers in tribal dominated districts of the State.
Usually middlemen purchase ‘khali’ plates and cups made of sal leaves at a low price from the sal leaf pluckers and market it to earn huge profit, while tribals, particularly women, struggle to sustain their families from the meagre amount. It was a longstanding demand of the tribals to waive he royalty.
They are engaged for over six months a year for collecting sal leaves and making ‘khali’ and ‘chaupati’.