New Delhi: The government Tuesday said it has decided to give degraded land, which is about one-third of the total forest area, to private industries on lease for commercial forest harvesting to boost employment and generate revenue.
Union minister for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar said that a scheme will soon be launched wherein private industries, particularly wood-importing companies, will be given degraded land on revenue sharing basis for forest harvesting.
"We have come out with a scheme wherein we will give our degraded land to private industries on lease with revenue sharing or certain other model where they will be allowed to grow forest and harvest it regularly for their industrial use so they don't have to import wood and create jobs here," the minister said at the 10th Sustainable Summit organised by CII.
Javadekar said that the industries will be mandated to grow local species on the one-tenth of the land.
"One-tenth of the area will be regular species of forest which will not be cut. So it adds to everything and it creates additional carbon sync. This is a major initiative," he said.
He said that one-third of the forest area is degraded land where there are no forests.
"We have forest land but there is no forest. They are forest land only on papers. These are called degraded land. They can be converted into forest. So this way forest also gains by getting the revenue share," he said.
The Union minister urged the private companies to make more investment in research and development to give way for sustainable practices.
"Indian industries must start investing more in research and development. Unless we research and come out with solutions we do not get the benefit. Industrial progress should be based on it," he said.
He said that India is more of IT-labour generating country than IT-superpower.
"We say that we are IT-superpower but we are not. We are IT-labour contractors. We have not come out with Facebook, or WhatsApp, Google, any new operating system or real new products. Prime Minister going to meet Zuckerberg is recognition of power of research and technology," the minister said.