Tendu leaf collection rates for year 2008 increased in MP

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Bhopal, May 14 (UNI) The Madhya Pradesh cabinet -- at its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan here today -- decided to upwardly revise tendu leaf collection rates for collection year 2008 with the objective of ensuring remunerative wages to villagers and involve their participation in tendu leaf collection and trade.

Accordingly, the collection rate has been increased to Rs 550 per standard bag.

Mr Chouhan had announced at a tendu leaf collection incentive wage distribution function at Tendukheda in Narsinghpur district on April 22 that collection rate would be increased from Rs 500 to Rs 550 per standard bag, an official release said here today.

The present government has brought about uniformity in the rates of tendu leaf collection wages. Earlier, the rates varied in different areas.

To bring about uniformity in the rate, it was fixed at Rs 400 per standard bag for entire Madhya Pradesh in 2006. Later, it was raised to Rs 450 in 2007. Now, it has been decided to increase the rate to Rs 550 per standard bag for 2008.

The cabinet also decided to immediately lift the ban on 'sal' seeds collection in entire Madhya Pradesh except in protected forest areas. Following this decision, on average the sal seeds collection is likely to be about 40,000 quintal annually. It is estimated that it would generate 180 lakh man days of employment annually.

The lifting of ban on 'sal' seeds collection would be beneficial in many ways. It would generate employment for tribal communities. As sprouting period of 'sal' seed is short (one week after ripening/maturing of seeds), it would be very meaningful to do so for optimum utilisation of the available resources.

Besides, 'sal' seeds collection would be beneficial for private as well as public sector undertakings.

It would help sustainable management of resources and prosperity of the state. Although, the condition of 'sal' seeds is good and regeneration is also adequate, yet a strict curb on bio effects, fire and other adverse factors would be necessary for sustainable development.

The resumption of 'sal' seeds in forest areas would increase possibilities of making its trade profitable in view of the market demand of 'sal' seeds. A survey conducted by Madhya Pradesh State Forest Research Centre, Jabalpur, has described as appropriate the resumption of 'sal' seeds in forest areas except in protected forests in view of the regeneration state of this important forest produce, the release added.

UNI PS

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