Jharsuguda: Members of Odisha Kendu Leaf Karmachari Sangha on Saturday staged a rally at Jharsuguda Dist. Collector Office protesting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Kendu Leaves. They have been demanding to bring down the current 18% GST on Kendu leaves to 5% GST and save the livelihood as well as the social security of lakhs of women scheduled tribes and other economically backwards workers engaged in this sector.
The agitators under the aegis of Odisha Kendu Leaf Karmachari Sangha came in a procession starting from Jharsuguda PWD to Jharsuguda Dist. Collector Office here seeking the fulfilment of their demands. The works led by association president Bijay Mohanty submitted a memorandum signed by 15,429 Kendu leaf workers to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and also to Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitaram, through Jharsuguda Dist. Collector.
Mohanty said Kendu leaf workers face loss due to GST on Kendu Leaves. “We had written to State Govt. as well as Central Govt. but nothing has happened yet. We want the centre to withdraw the tax as soon as possible.” He added
“We have two demands; one is to abolish GST from Kenduleaf as promised in the election manifesto by Central Govt. and another one is to stop privatization of Kendu Leaf organization.” Said Sanjit Mohanty, State Secretary, Odisha Kendu Leaf Karmchari Sanha