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Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Bill gets green signal by Rajya Sabha

The Upper House On Thursday Along With The Parliament Agreement Has Given A Green Signal To The Contentious Compensatory And Afforestation Fund (CAF) Bill, 2016 During The Budget Session. The CAF Bill Permits States To Assess Nearly Rs 42,000 Crore And Channel Into Afforestation Projects.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Neha Singh | Updated on: 29 Jul 2016, 05:48:01 PM
Rajya Sabha okays Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Bill

New Delhi:

The Upper House on thursday along with the Parliament agreement has given a green signal to the contentious Compensatory and Afforestation Fund (CAF) Bill, 2016 during the Budget session. The CAF bill permits States to assess nearly Rs 42,000 crore and channel into afforestation projects. 

The CAF bill was approved by the Rajya Sabha which assures that the rules are to be framed in such a way which will safeguard the interests of forest workers and the tribals. The Lower House had passed the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Bill during Budjet session. The bill will become institutional once it gets President's seal.

Enviroment Minister Anil Dave assured the other parties in the Rajya Sabha that Goverment will be taking care of their issues, and will not let down the rights of tribals."The provisions of the Panchayati Raj Act are also powerful enough to ensure that forest rights and consent of gram panchayats are respected," said Dave, adding that deficiencies that emerge in future would be addressed after a year.

On Wednesday, Congress MP and former environment minister Jairam Ramesh had raised concerns on behalf of his party with the apprehension that the legislation would ignore the rights of forest dwellers under the Forest Rights Act of 2006.

But disputing this, BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav on Thursday said: "This government wants to ensure that the country's green cover grows and the rights of those living in forests are protected. This fund will be spent in a transparent manner."
Among the states, Odisha will get the highest amount of Rs 5,996 crore from the Rs 42,000 crore fund, which means that the state has seen the maximum diversion of forest land for non-forest use.

Among all the Indian states, Odisha will be given highest amount of Rs 5,996 crore from the Rs 42,000 crore fund, which shows that the state has seen the maximum diversion of forest land for non-forest use.

Any user agency found for diverting forest lands for nonforest purposes is at present, required to deposit an amount to the centeral goverment body. This amount will be utilized to mitigate the impact of diversion of forest land. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), is incharge of the accumulated amount of Rs 42,000 crore for the time being.

The bill is also aimed at setting up the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund at the Centre and the State Compensatory Afforestation Funds. About 90% of the collected fund will be used by the states for afforestation and other related work, including forest regeneration and wildlife protection. It also provides for setting up a national authority at Centre and state-level authority in respective states to monitor the utilisation of the funds.

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First Published : 29 Jul 2016, 04:35:00 PM

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