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| Last Updated:17/03/2020

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Green India Mission to get Rs 13,000 crore after Cabinet nod

NEW DELHI: Faced with criticism that it had rushed through green clearances to many projects by ignoring environmental concerns, the government may next week clear Rs 13,000 crore for its much awaited 'Green India Mission' which aims to enhance carbon sinks through large-scale forestry across the country. 

"Final draft of the 
Green India Mission (GIM) and proposal to get funds for it are ready. It will go to the Cabinet soon, possibly next week," environment and forests minister M Veerappa Moily said. 

Moily told TOI that the finance ministry has given its nod for the required funds. 

The government intends to increase forest cover by 10 million hectares in the next 10 years at a cost of Rs 46,000 crore. It has two components - quality improvement of forest cover and creating new forest cover - which are to be implemented through various measures including decentralization of forest governance. 

It is learnt that the 
ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has proposed convergence of GIM projects with schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). 

Whenever forest land is to be diverted for non-forestry purpose, user agencies have to provide equivalent "non-forest land" as per availability and "funds" (prescribed estimated amount) for carrying out compensatory afforestation. The money contributed by these agencies for planting trees goes to the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF). 

The GIM may benefit from the convergence as CAF during 2006-12 grew from Rs 1,200 crore to Rs 23,608 crore. 

The fund for the mission is also expected to be derived from the 'corporate social responsibility' kitty which may get money from private companies that are expected to share a certain percentage of the total cost of projects for different social works. 

Though the mission got 'in-principle' approval of the government over two years ago, it could not take off due to paucity of funds. 

Rs 13,000 crore amount for the GIM, which is to get Cabinet nod, is meant for the 12th five-year plan period (2012-17). Since two years of the current plan period are almost over, the proposed fund has the provision of one year spillover in the 13th plan period. 

The mission plan is designed in such a way that it could respond to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures. Besides increasing the forest cover, it will also be meant for improving entire ecosystem and increasing forest-based livelihood income for 30 lakh forest dependent households in different parts of the country. 

"Creating a new cadre of community youth as foresters from scheduled tribes and other forest dwelling communities is also one of the key areas of the Mission", said an official from the MoEF.

The Times of India (23-01-2014)