Rules for Rs. 40,000 cr. forest fund to be ready in a month

  • The Environment Ministry will frame rules, within a month, to help States use a Rs. 40,000-crore corpus earmarked to restore forests.
  • CAF Bill proposes to dispense corpus that has, over the years, collected money from projects that have diverted forest land for infrastructure development.
  • Most Indian States stand to receive funds worth Rs. 6,000 crore per annum for conservation, protection, improvement & expansion of forest, wildlife resources.
  • According to Environment Ministry, most money will be used to restock and improve degraded forest, which make up more than 40 % of the total forest cover of the country, and create more than 15-crore man days of direct employment.
  • Many of these jobs will be in tribal and backward areas.
  • Apart from creation of direct employment, utilisation of these amounts will result in increased availability of timber & various non-timber forest products, and will thus help in improvement of the overall living standards of the forest dependent communities.
  • About 90 per cent of the roughly Rs. 40,000 crore will be transferred to States and the remaining will be with the Centre to monitor and evaluate activities to be undertaken by the States/UTs.

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