Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has hailed the exemption granted to “bamboo" from the Indian Forest Act and said the entire North Eastern Region (NER) of India will benefit from this decision which had been a public demand for the last nearly 90 years.
Following the approval by the Union Cabinet in a meeting chaired by the Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi, the President of India yesterday promulgated the Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 to exempt bamboo grown in non-forest areas from the definition “Tree”, thereby dispensing with the requirement of obtaining a permit for felling of bamboo for economic use. The decision has been hailed as historic because the bamboo was legally defined as a "Tree" under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 which proved to be a major impediment for bamboo cultivation by non-farmers on non-forest land.
Hailing the decision, Dr Jitendra Singh said India is one of the major producers of bamboo in the world, found abundantly in the NER. He said, bamboo can be utilized for manufacture of furniture, handicrafts, house construction and several other diverse applications including paper industry, cottage industry, fabric making units, wood substitutes like flooring, roofing, panels etc.
Describing the Amendment as a game-changer reform, Dr Jitendra Singh said this will not only help in generating employability and self-employment but also give a major boost to revenue as well as Start-Up entrepreneurship in the Northeast.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that over 20 million people are involved in bamboo-related activities and just one tonne of bamboo has the capacity to provide employment to 315 people.
At a high level meeting of senior functionaries of the Ministry of DoNER and North Eastern Council (NEC) here today, Dr Jitendra Singh also deliberated on the observations and comments made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee regarding the implementation of various projects in the Northeast. He also received an update on the current status of the exercise to reorient the NEC as a state-of-the-art resource centre for the eight States of the NER.
Secretary, DoNER, Shri Naveen Verma, Secretary, NEC, Shri Ram Muivah, Member NEC, Shri C K Das and several senior officers were present in the meeting.