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16 states have cut forest dept budget | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: As many as 16 states in the country had reduced the annual plan budget of their respective forest departments in the current financial year compared to 2019-20. The allocation under the head is meant not just for conservation efforts but also for increasing the green cover.
Details shared by the states with the environment ministry till March 12 show that West Bengal reported the highest percentage (52%) decline in its budgetary allocation for the forest department followed by UP (44%), Andhra Pradesh (40%), Tamil Nadu (38%) and Bihar (30%).
The figures were shared by Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar as part of his written response to a Parliament question in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Though the data of most of the Union Territories were not available, Delhi’s record shows decrease in the budget of forest department from Rs 71 crore in 2019-20 to Rs 48 crore in 2020-21.
The states which reported increase in budgetary allocation include Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Haryana, Kerala, Meghalaya, Tripura, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.
Though most of the states do get additional money from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for afforestation and related activities, the budgetary allocation is the primary component for carrying out green activities.
An amount of over Rs 48,477 crore has been disbursed from CAMPA to 31 states/UTs till January 31 since coming into force of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act, 2016 in September, 2018. This is the money which is collected from project developers as levies for diversion of forest for non-forest activities such as infrastructure development, mining and industries.

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