He said the tribals have the right to procure and sell these products.
After the implementation of GST from July 1, 2017, 18% GST is levied on Kendu leaf. In Odisha, prior to implementation of GST, there was 5% VAT on Kendu (Tendu) leaf, Patnaik said.
"This hike from 5% to 18% is very high. Due to such hike in the GST rate, thousands of quintals of kendu leaves are still lying at various godowns. This has led to a drop in selling price of Kendu leaves sold by Odisha Forest Development Corporation Ltd. through tender," he added.
He said the drop in selling price of Kendu leaves has adversely impacted the implementation of social security and welfare schemes for 8.5 lakh Kendu leaf pluckers, seasonal workers and binding workers engaged in this trade.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)