SAC approves rationalization of norms for sale of timber in CTSDs to consumers

Jammu: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here Thursday under the chairmanship of Governor, Shri Satya Pal Malik approved the proposal of the J&K State Forest Corporation to rationalize the norms for sale of timber in Concessional Timber Sale Depots (CTSDs).
The new norms were approved in pursuance of the recommendations of the Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Finance Secretary for the purpose. The main feature of the rationalized timber sale norms inter-alia includes that the existing practice of classifying timber sale depots into A, B and C zones shall be dispensed with. This concept was relevant earlier in view of no or poor road connectivity and feeble economy which have undergone a sea change now.
The concessions to villagers, whose village boundary lies within three miles (5 kilometers) of the demarcated forest boundary, provided that the forest is not separated by the village by an unfordable stream at its winter level, shall continue to be granted under the Kashmir Forest Notice and Jammu Forest Notice. Similarly, Zamindars residing between 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 kilometers) of demarcated forest boundary shall also get timber as provided in the Kashmir Forest Notice and Jammu Forest Notice, subject to silvicultural availability of trees and capacity of the forest to meet the demand.
The power to revise/ fix the rates for sale of timber shall be delegated to the Steering Committee of the J&K State Forest Corporation headed by the Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, Forest, Environment and Ecology Department, and having PCCF J&K, MD J&K SFC, CCF Kashmir, and Director Finance J&K SFC as its members. The Steering Committee shall revise the sale rates of timber annually based on the average auction rates of the previous year.
Timber shall be supplied at the average auction rates of the previous year less by 50 % for BPL consumers and less by 15 percent for non-BPL consumers. For the purpose of determining eligibility under BPL category, the records maintained by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs shall be relied upon.
The Steering Committee of J&K State Forest Corporation shall also fix the overall proportion of timber, species-wise, to be allocated to CTSDs and auction sale depots of SFC for maintaining a balance between the two sources of revenue.
Subject to timber availability, consumers may be provided timber once in 10 years to the maximum of 200 cft for new house construction. For repair of house upto 50 cft timber may be supplied in one instance, with a limit of 150 cft in 5 years. The principle of first come first served shall be strictly adhered to while supplying timber to consumers. The J&K SFC shall develop a web-based application for online registration of consumers and grant of sanctions.

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