What the new CAF rules imply

Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has, in a letter, raised serious objections to the rules governing the administration of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund. He has described them as a “blatant breach of assurances” given to Parliament. Here is a look at the key issues involved What is the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF)? The CAF is a nationally constituted authority that presides over a corpus of Rs. 66,000 crore. This is money paid by developers who have razed forest land for their construction projects, and the idea is that such land destroyed needs to be made good by regenerating forest elsewhere on non-forest land. The amount to be paid depends on the economic value of the goods and services that the razed forest would have provided. These include timber, bamboo, firewood, carbon sequestration, soil conservation, water recharge, and seed dispersal. Industrialists pay this money and this is eventually transferred to the States concerned to carry out afforestation. Until now, a Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority was in charge of the funds. However a new Act, the CAF Act 2016, that came into being after over a decade since it was devised, now establishes an independent authority to execute the fund. However, it was not until August that the rules governing the management of the fund were finalised. And this has stoked controversy. Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has, in a letter, raised serious objections to the rules governing the administration of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund. He has described them as a “blatant breach of assurances” given to Parliament. Here is a look at the key issues involved What is the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF)? The CAF is a nationally constituted authority that presides over a corpus of Rs. 66,000 crore. This is money paid by developers who have razed forest land for their construction projects, and the idea is that such land destroyed needs to be made good by regenerating forest elsewhere on non-forest land. The amount to be paid depends on the economic value of the goods and services that the razed forest would have provided. These include timber, bamboo, firewood, carbon sequestration, soil conservation, water recharge, and seed dispersal. Industrialists pay this money and this is eventually transferred to the States concerned to carry out afforestation. Until now, a Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority was in charge of the funds. However a new Act, the CAF Act 2016, that came into being after over a decade since it was devised, now establishes an independent authority to execute the fund. However, it was not until August that the rules governing the management of the fund were finalised. And this has stoked controversy.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/what-the-new-caf-rules-imply/article24782840.ece

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