A fund under consideration in parliament will compensate for loss of forest cover
GN Bureau | May 3, 2016
The forest fire which has been raging in Uttarakhand for the past few days has caused widespread destruction and has left environmentalists worried. The fire has undoubtedly caused extensive damage and the impact on wildlife is still being gauged.
In such a situation, a bill in parliament can provide some succour. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 will establish funds that will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate for loss of forest cover, regeneration of forest ecosystem, wildlife protection and infrastructure development.
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on May 8, 2015. It was referred to the Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment and Forests on May 21, 2015. The committee is scheduled to submit its report on the first day of the winter session of Rajya Sabha.
Here are the highlights of the bill, courtesy PRS Legislative Research.
Satellite image of areas affected by Uttarakhand forest fire (image courtesy: Bhuvan)
Highlights of the bill
• The bill establishes the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state.
• These funds will receive payments for: (i) compensatory afforestation, (ii) net present value of forest (NPV), and (iii) other project specific payments. The national fund will receive 10% of these funds, and the state funds will receive the remaining 90%.
• These funds will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate for loss of forest cover, regeneration of forest ecosystem, wildlife protection and infrastructure development.
• The bill also establishes the National and State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and planning authorities to manage the national and state funds.
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