New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the transfer of Rs 53,852 crore lying with the ad-hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (NCAFMPA) for its utilisation.
The National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority has been created under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act 2016 for utilising the corpus created in pursuance of the top court’s 2006 order.
Ninety per cent of this amount would go to the states with the balance of 10 per cent remaining with the Centre.
Directing the transfer, a bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta directed the states to set-up State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authorities (SCAFMPAs).
The court gave the states two weeks’ for this and thereafter, a week’s time to the Centre to transfer the funds to the state authorities.
The monitoring committee that would oversee the disbursal and utilisation of the fund would include a representative of the top court.
“There should be one nominee from the Supreme Court. It (fund) was created on our orders,” said Justice Gupta.
“Our concern is that funds should not go for the projects not qualified under CAMPA,” Justice Gupta said expressing his misgiving on the utilisation of the fund that was created in last 12 years and there has to be some guidelines on their utilisation.
Assuring the court there would be no misutilisation of funds, Solicitor General Mehta said, “These funds can’t be used for the construction of roads” or any other project.
The court on Monday directed the Central government to place before it the names of the people to be included in the monitoring committee.
“Let the monitoring committee proposed to be constituted be place before us,” said the order passed by Justice Mishra.
The court also ordered to know “how and in what manner” the money coming under CAMPA would be kept in the banks bearing interest.
The court order came as it allowed the Central government’s application for the transfer of funds from an ad-hoc CAMPA to the NCAFMPA that has been created under the Statute.
Appearing for the Central government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that the expenditure of the funds would e audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).