New law on Green Fund would provide states with 40,000 crore fund to plant forest

The Union cabinet approved amendments to the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015 (Green Fund), which will facilitate the distribution of around Rs.42,000 crore among all states to encourage them to plant forests.

At present, the unspent amount available with the ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) is around Rs.42,000 crore.Fresh accrual of compensatory levies and interest on accumulated unspent money is around Rs.6,000 crore per year.

Provisions in the New Law on Green Fund:

  1. Whenever “Forest Land” is to be diverted for ‘non-forestry’ purpose user agencies have to deposit prescribed estimated amount of money for carrying out compensatory afforestation
  2. Money would be available with Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and planning authority (CAMPA)
  3. Proposed law is meant for creating an institutional mechanism to utilize the fund in an efficient and transparent manner

The government believes that apart from mitigating the impact of diversion of forest land, utilization of the fund will result in creation of productive assets and generation of huge employment opportunities in rural areas, especially backward tribal areas.