New Delhi, Apr 20 (IBNS) The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval on Wednesday to move official amendments in the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015.
The legislation will ensure expeditious utilization, in a transparent manner, of accumulated unspent amounts available with the ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
CAMPA presently has Rs.40,000 crore available in unspent amount, and is expected to see fresh accrual of compensatory levies and interest on accumulated unspent balance, of nearly Rs. 6,000 crore per annum.
According to the Cabinet, utilization of these amounts will facilitate timely execution of appropriate measures to mitigate impact of diversion of forest land, for which these amounts have been realised. Apart from mitigating the impact of diversion of forest land, utilisation of these amounts will result in creation of productive assets and generation of huge employment opportunities in the rural areas, especially the backward tribal areas.
The amendments do not involve any additional expenditure. The legislation will extend to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Central Government introduced the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 in the Lok Sabha on May 8, 2015.
On May 13, 2015, the Lok Sabha referred the Bill to the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests. On February, 26, 2016, the Committee submitted its report to the Parliament. The Central Government after examination of the report of the Department-related Parliamentary Committee proposed to move official amendments in the Bill.
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