Continuing its flip-flop, the government on Monday told the Rajya Sabha that a forest management institute under the Environment Ministry has submitted a draft national policy, which is under consideration, weeks after dubbing the document as merely a “study”.
Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, in a written reply, said “The Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal under the Environment Ministry was asked to prepare a draft National Forest Policy. IIFM has submitted the draft policy document which is under consideration.”
He was replying to a question on whether the Ministry has come out with a draft national forest policy proposing levy of green tax.
Following publication of news reports about the proposed imposition of green tax, the Environment Ministry had recently said it had “inadvertently” put up a study and not issued any draft forest policy after it uploaded the document titled the ‘Draft National Forest Policy, 2016’ on its website and invited public opinion.
The Ministry had said the study done by Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal was uploaded on its website as draft forest policy by mistake.
“The Ministry has not issued any draft notification on National Forest Policy. What has been uploaded on the website was a study done by Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. The study has not been evaluated by the Ministry.
“The Ministry has not taken any decision on draft forest policy. The study report prepared by IIFM, Bhopal was inadvertently uploaded as draft forest policy on the website,” S S Negi, Director General, Forest and Special Secretary, Environment Ministry had said. The IIFM’s proposals included imposition of a green tax.