Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar chaired an in-depth meeting of State Forests Ministers on effective and efficient utilization of CAMPA funds at New Delhi today, in presence of Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Sushil Kumar Modi; Director General of Forests, Shri Siddhanta Das and other senior Forests Officials from various states.Speaking to media persons, the Environment Minister said that the meeting was held to discuss how to implement the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and utilize its funds more effectively and create more afforestation, green cover along with water augmentation in order to improve the quality of forests, “We are meeting for the second time in the last 4 months and we will ensure that CAMPA Funds of about Rs. 47,000 crore will be utilized efficiently for green India”, stated Shri Javadekar.The Environment Minister further added that continuous deliberations with all stakeholders will be conducted in future in order to ensure maximum afforestation activities are carried out all over the country.
Background of CAMPA:
With the initial experience of the States regarding under-utilisation of the money collected towards compensatory afforestation, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India ordered for establishment of Compensatory Afforestation Fund and Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) in 2001. In 2006, separate bank accounts were opened in which the compensatory levies were deposited and adhoc CAMPA was established for the management of Compensatory afforestation fund. In 2009, Hon’ble Supreme Court permitted release of Rs.1000 crore every year to States/UTs for compensatory afforestation and other activities. In 2014, Hon’ble Supreme Court permitted release of 10% of total deposit of states in the fund from interest accrued on the deposits. This Act has provisioned that CAMPA funds shall be kept in interest bearing non-lapsable Public Account. After detailed deliberations with CAG and Ministry of Finance and deliberations with other Stakeholders, the fund flow mechanism could be finalized and the CAF Rules were finally put in place in 2018. After notification of CAF Rules, with approval of the Supreme Court on 28 Jan 2019, an amount of Rs.54,685 Crore from Ad-hoc CAMPA has been brought under the control of Government of India. The Union Government have transferred CAMPA Funds to the tune of Rs.47,436 crore to 27 States/UTs and will be utilized as per the provisions of the CAF Act and CAF Rules.It is noteworthy to mention that about Rs.47,436 crore of CAMPA funds were handed over by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to various states on 29th August this year.