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Forest Deptt, FCIK discuss promotion of wood-based business in Kashmir

Post by on Saturday, July 10, 2021

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Srinagar, July 09: Forest Department today met the members of Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir to discuss various issues pertaining to the promotion of wood-based industries in Kashmir at Forest Headquarters, Sheikh Bagh here.
At the outset, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & HoFF, J&K, Dr Mohit Gera, explained the need of reducing the rotation of trees grown on Farmlands such as Poplars and Willows, from the current average felling cycle of 20 years through improved techniques of growth and management, thereby reducing the girth requirement from 48” to about 18”-20” for plywood and other value-added products.
He further informed that the UT is importing wood worth Rs 400 crore annually which implies that there is ample scope for farmers and wood-based entrepreneurs to enhance wood cultivation and wood-based industry. He expressed optimism that with the focus of the government for the promotion of wood-based industries and non-wood forest products for the creation of livelihood, the role of the forest sector can be substantially enhanced in the economy of J&K.
Speaking on the occasion, former president FCIK, Showkat Qalander presented his memorandum of demands with the expectation that they shall be addressed, including pertinent issues related to licensing of sawmills, need for dispensing of licence requirement for furniture/ Joinery units, relook at renewal period of licences, etc. He further welcomed the online registration option developed by the Forest Department for processing requests for fresh licences and renewal of old licences.
The Chief Conservator of Forests, Kashmir, T. Rabi Kumar, explained that the Department is proactive in addressing the issues related to wood-based industries. He informed the House that just a day before (on 08.07.2021), four cases were approved by 6th SLC for providing licences to Veneer units, 63 for Saw Mills/ Cricket bat industry and 15 for Joinery Units within the purview of available quota.
S. Kamili (President FCIK) highlighted the need for exploring the ‘ease of doing business’ approach as it would accelerate revenue generation by the industries and thereby improve the contribution of wood-based industries to GDP. He also requested an improved protocol for extraction of Non-Timber Forest Products.
Concluding the session the Pr. Chief Conservator of Forests/Hoff, J&K informed the participants about recent developments in the line of ease of doing business initiated by the Department, such as "e-way bill is considered equivalent to F-25 for transit of forest produce, post-re-organization of the State, Rules for transit of forest produce notified in 2020 which are hassle-free and transparent, One-time registration of Timber Sale Depots vide rules notified in 2020."
It was agreed that SRO-103 needs to be reviewed and shall be taken up with the Government after careful consideration of all parameters. Better coordination between farmer and industry for price assurance of raw material was emphasized. He also informed regarding the study of raw material availability which has been already entrusted to the Forest Survey of India and assured that the department will follow up for an early report.
The interaction ended with a positive note for resolution of issues for the encouragement of wood-based industries as well as farmers through better coordination and regular meetings which would facilitate the enhanced contribution of wood-based industry towards GDP and overall well being of the common man as envisaged by Lt. Governor J&K during his recent instructions to Forest Department at Raj Bhawan, Srinagar on the occasion of the commemoration of foundation day of Forest Department.
 

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