Centre receives 579 proposals for development of forest: Jairam Ramesh

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New Delhi, Dec 2 (ANI): The Union Government on Wednesday said it has recieved 579 proposals for the development of forests in the country.

The National Afforestation and Eco-development Board is implementing the National Afforestation Programme.

In his written reply to a question posed by lawmaker Harishchandra Chavan in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest, Jairam Ramesh said : "The programme is aimed at regeneration of degraded forests and fringe areas, through a two tier institutional set-up of Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) at the district level and Joint Forest Management Committees at the village level."

"This year the Ministry has received 579 proposals from all the State Governments under the National Afforestation Programme out of which 270 have been accorded sanction," he said.

Ramesh also informed the Lower House of Parliament that budget allocation Rs. 345.62 crores for the current financial year under the National Afforestation Programme is likely to be incurred for this purpose.

"Funds are released to FDA projects on receipt of appropriate proposals along with satisfactory utilization of the funds released earlier and other requisite documents like progress reports, audit report etc. Further, the proposals will be accorded sanction subject to availability of funds under the scheme," he stated in the answer.

While answering another question, Ramesh informed the members that The National Afforststion Programme is a two tier decentralised mechanism of FDA at Forest Division level and Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at the village level.

He also informed the House that till, the end of October, there are 796 FDA projects involving 35628 JFMCs for treating an area of 1.65 million hectare have been approved under the scheme.

"To strengthen the ongoing National Afforestation Programme the Government has approved a proposal to strengthen the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Afforestation Porgramme (NAP) in which inter-alia the institutional arrangement, fund flow mechanism as well as the cost norms have been streamlined. In addition, two new components, namely, Training and Capacity Building and Value Addition and Marketing of Forest Produce have been included in the scheme," Ramesh said.

Under the revised Operational Guidelines of the NAP scheme, each programme implementing state or union territory will constitute a State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

The SFDA will be a federation of Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) of the state or Union Territory. The SFDA is envisaged to obtain, scrutinize and approve the proposals of FDAs, send a consolidated State proposal giving FDA-wise details to the Centre for sanction, receive and disburse the funds to the FDAs as well as monitor the project implementation. (ANI)

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