Amendment related to bamboo in non-forest areas gets Cabinet nod(IE)

Amendment related to bamboo in non-forest areas gets Cabinet nod(IE)

Context

The Section in question includes bamboo, along with “skumps, brush-wood and canes”, within the ambit of “tree”

Useful Fact

India has the largest area under bamboo cultivation and is the second richest in terms of bamboo genetic resources after China

What has happened?

  • No need for transit or felling permit: Bamboo grown in non-forest areas will be exempted from requiring a felling or transit permit (permission for felling or transporting) after the Cabinet approved an amendment to the Indian Forest Act 1927
  • The amendment to Section 2(7) of the Act will “encourage bamboo plantation by farmers, which will contribute to doubling farmers’ income by 2022

What is included under the term ‘Tree’?

Section 2(7) includes bamboo, along with “skumps, brush-wood and canes”, within the ambit of “tree”

Is bamboo a tree?

No. Athough taxonomically a grass, bamboo is at present treated as a tree for the purpose of the Indian Forest Act, 1927. It, therefore, requires transit permit under Section 41 of the Act even if it is grown on private land

Under-utilised potential

India’s massive potential has not been utilised to increase the country’s share in the global bamboo market. As a result India still imports timber and allied products such as pulp, paper & furniture

Problems faced by cultivators include,

  • Restrictive regulatory regime
  • Requirement of permission for felling, transit and processing
  • Export restrictions
  • Royalty and transit fee on the products

Benefit of the amendment

The amendment approved today will allow free movement of bamboo and ensure that production and consumption centres are seamlessly integrated. This will

  • Generate the demand for raw material leading to planting of bamboo trees on non-forest land
  • Provide employment
  • Encourage growth of small and medium industries in the villages and smaller towns also
  • Reduce our dependence on imports
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