A CONFERENCE of bidi manufacturers of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra was organised here on Tuesday to redress issues facing the group and revive the industry in MP.
Addressing the conference, Forest Minister Himmat Kothari expressed concern over the migration of bidi industry from Madhya Pradesh to other states.
Considering the growing unemployment of bidi workers, the State Government would take measures to revive the industry, he said.
In regards to problems facing the traders, Kothari said the government has issued a notification on registration of traders by amending the Madhya Pradesh Tendu Leaf Act.
He said, henceforth, the government would take godown rent on the basis of actual collection and storage of leaves. The State Government has issued instructions that a bundle should consist of 50 tendu leaves.
He said since tendu leaf collectors are basically tribals, the State Government would top priority to their interests and all decisions would be taken keeping this in mind.
He urged the traders to discourage illegal trade practices. “If the State Government receives any complaints of violation of its directions, strict actions would be taken against the officials and employees concerned,” the minister said.
The participants put forward issues like simplification of tax, lowering of duties, removal of inspection duty, lowering of transfer fee, godown rent etc.
Principal secretary (Forest) Avni Vaish, managing director of Madhya Pradesh Minor Forest Produce V K Khare, senior government officials, Madhya Pradesh Bidi Leaves Association general secretary Ravi Gagrani, Maharashtra Bidi Leaves Merchants Association vice president Vijay Vadera, Chhattisgarh Bidi Leaves Merchant Association Abdul Rashid and others participated in the conference.