Telangana expects nearly three-fold increase in the revenues from sale of beedi (Tendu) leaves grown in the forests, an official said on Friday.
The revenue during the current financial year is expected to be Rs 188 crore, which will be Rs 124 crore higher than the previous year.
The forest department attributed this to the increase in beedi leaf demand. Another reason for increase in the revenue is the government's decision to distribute the entire net revenue back to the beedi leaf collectors.
According to principal chief conservator of forests, the first advance sale of beedi leaf was conducted on Wednesday. Total 292 beedi leaf units were notified for sale with a target of 3,32,200 standard bags (SBs).
The collection rate for 2017 beedi leaf season is fixed Rs 1,500 per SB in Badrachalam area and Rs 1,450 per SB in other areas of the state.
There may be an increase of Rs 200 per SB in collection rate compared to 2016 beedi leaf season.
Officials said 1,604 tenders were received for 277 units, out of 292 units put for sale. All units except one fetched more than upset price. The remaining 16 units will be put for sale on January 1, 2017.
The beedi leaves trade in Telangana is a major social security scheme during summer when substantial wages are earned by poor living in the remote villages on the fringes of forests.