New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) The density of herbal plants in the country is declining mainly because of their illegal exploitation and smuggling, the Government admitted in the Lok Sabha today.
''According to information received from Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Jharkhand and the Botanical Survey of India, there is a general perception that the density of herbal plants may be declining,'' Minister of State for Environment and Forests Namo Narain Meena said, replying to supplementaries.
''The possibility of their illegal exploitation and smuggling cannot be ruled out because of the open access nature of biological resources,'' he added.
Mr Meena said he would ask the Medicinal and Health Department to carry out scientific study to gauge the amount of the decline.
He also accepted the suggestion that there should be one Department dealing with herbal plants.
He said a digital library of herbal plants was being created to check their smuggling and patenting by foreign countries.
He said the State Governments had also been asked to keep 10 per cent of their land for medicinal plants.