Cabinet clears Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill

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New Delhi, Mar 7 (UNI) As a follow up to the decision to launch the ambitious Green India project, the Union Cabinet today cleared a Bill that proposes to create a fund for afforestation.

The Bill called Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2008 is coming in the current budget session of Parliament itself.

Besides providing for creation of the fund, the legislation also envisages creation of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The Bill proposes to create one post of Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the rank of Inspector General of Forests and also provides for creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by the CAMPA.

The Supreme Court had in 2002 ordered the creation of a CAMPA fund, which would collect money from project proponents for using forest land, and this money was to be collected at the rate of Rs 5.8-9.2 lakh per hectare of forest land.

Such a fund would be utilised for a massive afforestation programme to increase the tree cover through Green India.

With today's Cabinet nod to the Bill, the Government is now close to having at its disposal more than Rs 6,000 crore for the purpose.

UNI NAZ AKJ DB2001

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