The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority Bill, 2015, that will unlock Rs 40,000 crore worth of funds for state governments. The Bill will enable setting up of a fund at national and state level, to receive money from industries for compensatory afforestation and to assist natural regeneration of forests. The Bill was tabled in Lok Sabha on May 8, 2015 and was later sent to the parliamentary standing committee on environment and forests and the union cabinet approved changes suggested by the parliamentary committee on April 20. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An earlier avatar of the Bill was rejected in 2009 on the floor of Rajya Sabha for vesting too much power in the hands of Centre. After its passage in Lok Sabha, the Bill will be now be tabled in Rajya Sabha. Currently, an ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), formed on the directions of the Supreme Court, handles the corpus of funds collected by state governments and union territories, that has accumulated to nearly Rs 40,000 crore.The money with the National Fund will be spent on management of the national schemes as approved by the national CAMPA committee. The money in the state fund will be used for artificial regeneration, forest management and protection of wildlife. The state CAMPA body will consist of a governing body, a steering committee and an executive committee. The governing body will be chaired by the chief minister of the state.

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Lok Sabha passes Bill on compensatory afforestation