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Union Cabinets approves Amendments in Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015

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New Delhi : The Union Cabinet today gave its approval to move official amendments in the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015.

The legislation will ensure quick utilization of accumulated unspent amounts available with the ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), which presently is of the order of Rs.40,000 crore, and fresh accrual of compensatory levies and interest on accumulated unspent balance, which will be of the order of approx. Rs. 6,000 crore per annum, in an efficient and transparent manner.

The 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 Bill establishes the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India, and a State Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of each state. These Funds will be primarily spent on afforestation to compensate for loss of forest cover, regeneration of forest ecosystem, wildlife protection and infrastructure development.(ANI)

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