Gadchiroli Feb. 14 (District correspondent) The forest department has decided to distribute the entire amount of royalty received from tendu leaves collection as incentives to the labourers engaged in the tendu collection work.
As per the provisions of the said Act, in the non-scheduled areas as well as in the scheduled and collective forest rights areas, the collection and disposal of the forest produces is done by the Forest Department as per the demand of the Gram Sabhas. A fixed wage is paid by the licensees to the laborers collecting tendu from the allocated forest areas. Additionally, there is also a provision to distribute the proceeds from the sale as proprietary fee and incentive wages.
According to the prevailing policy, the incentive wage to be paid to the tendu collectors for that season is determined by deducting administrative expenses such as salaries, wages, office expenses etc. plus 12 percent from the ownership fee received through the e-auction process for collection.
However, there was objection as to when the period of tendu collection is only one month, the administrative expenses are deducted for the whole year. There has also been dissatisfaction among the local people regarding the forest department on getting a low rate for the tendu leaves. The tendu collectors also have been getting incentive wages one year late.
Pursuant to that, a proposal was put before the state cabinet for the new policy regarding distribution of the amount of proprietary fee collected through tendu leave to the concerned labourers as incentive wages.
In the meeting of the Council of Ministers held on 31.01.2023, it was decided to distribute the entire amount of royalty received from tendu leaves collection from the season of 2022 onwards, as an incentive without any deduction.
In the last three years, an administrative expenditure of Rs.33 crores is incurred annually for the collection of tendu leaves. However, due to the approval of the state cabinet, the entire ownership fee collected through collection of tendu leaves will now be paid to the families engaged in the tendu leaves collection without any deduction of administrative expenses. It will also help in supplementing the income of tendu collector laborers who have limited means of livelihood.
Under the Gadchiroli Vanvritta, in the three forest divisions of Alapalli, Gadchiroli and Wadsa, a total revenue of Rs.11.80 crores have been received from the sale of 25 tendu components in the Tendu season of 2022. The said total revenue will help a total of 22,327 family heads who collect tendu in all the three forest divisions to get financial benefit and raise their standard of living, informed Conservator of Forests (Regional), Dr. Kishor S. Mankar.
Photo Labourers seen collecting tendu leaves