Breaking News
Home / Siasat / BJD MPs meet Sitharaman, demand withdrawal of 18pc GST on ‘Kendu’ leaf trade

BJD MPs meet Sitharaman, demand withdrawal of 18pc GST on ‘Kendu’ leaf trade

Bhubaneswar: A delegation of BJD MPs on Wednesday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and demanded withdrawal of 18 percent GST on trade of ‘Kendu’ leaves, considered as “green gold” of Odisha.

In their memorandum submitted to the FM, the team of BJD MPs mentioned that Kendu leaf, used for wrapping ‘bidis’, is an important non-wood forest product of the state.

Around 8 lakh pluckers, binders and seasonal workers, mostly belonging to the tribal community and poor families, are dependent on the trade of the forest produce, they said.

The BJD delegation that met Sitharaman in Delhi, comprised Dr Amar Patnaik, Dr Sasmit Patra, Pinaki Misra, Achyut Samanta, Sulata Deo, Niranjini Bishi and Mamata Mahanta.

The tribal people collect ‘Kendu’ 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 rights to procure and sell this product, the memorandum said.

“Imposition of Goods and Services Tax at 18 per cent is adversely affecting the ‘Kendu’ leaves trade,” it said.

The delegation of BJD MPs from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha also claimed that if the GST is withdrawn, it will help improve the lives and livelihood of 8 lakh people associated with the trade of ‘Kendu’ leaves.

Notably, the GST being levied on the forest produce was a major issue in the recently concluded Padampur bypoll, and the ruling party attacked the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre on this matter.

Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had written to Sitharaman, requesting her intervention for the withdrawal of GST on ‘Kendu’ leaves.

Odisha’s Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari had also raised the issue in the 48th GST Council meeting held on December 17 and demanded for exemption of the indirect tax on the forest produce.

Check Also

Four Indian medical students drown in Russia

Representative image Moscow: Four Indian medical students were drowned in a river near St Petersburg …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *