Punjab: Punjab Minister Launches Portal for Timber Industry | Chandigarh News

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CHANDIGARH: Punjab Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Labor, Sangat Singh Gilzian on Tuesday launched a web portal for timber-based industries and a mobile phone app “Pun Forest” to monitor the works of planting and protection carried out by the field department.
Gilzian said the web portal was developed to boost timber industries in the state and to simplify the registration and licensing process. Industries will have the opportunity to obtain registration and licensing within the stipulated time frame with full transparency.
The Minister of Forests said the move would generate revenue of around Rs 10-15 crore and also generate employment for over 10,000 workers directly and 25,000 indirectly. Similarly, timber traders will earn revenue in the form of GST.
He added that the Punjab Regulation of Sawmills, Veneer and Plywood Industries Rules, 2006 has been enacted in the state to regulate timber industries. However, as per the guidelines issued by the Government of India in 2016, agroforestry types such as Populus, Dek, Toot, Silver Oak, etc. will not be required to obtain a license and simply need to be registered with the Forest Department.
In addition to this, the establishment of wood-based industries using agroforestry wood types would have a significant impact on the growth of farmers’ agroforestry, increase in forested area and would also increase farmers’ incomes. .
Under rules approved by the state government in 2018, Rs 10 per foot green fee will be charged to industrialists for the use of timber, which has been used for planting new trees and for the welfare of industrialists.
He said a survey was conducted by the Punjab government from the Indian Institute of Forest, Dehradun, which revealed that the forest area has decreased from 32 lakh metric tons to 37 lakh cubic metric tons in the State.
He said that in past 5 years no license has been issued to timber industries but now Punjab Forest and Wildlife Protection Department has provided facility to register timber industries located at a distance of more than 10 km from the block forests, to strengthen the timber industries in the state and create employment opportunities. Along with this, traders would get a fair price for the timber.
He said the Forest Department website has been completely modernized and updated so that all department services are available to people online through a single portal.
Gilzian said the Pun Forest mobile app was launched to monitor planting and field protection work by forest and wildlife conservation officials.
He said department officers and staff would update planting photographs, daily planting progress and planting site details in the app.
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