The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on 27 August 2015 launched an e-payment module to accept compensatory amount for diversion of forest land in the country.
This e-payment module will cut delays and bring transparency in the system which is meant for collecting fund from user agencies which diver forest land for non-forest purpose.
Highlights of the E-payment Module
• The payment through the e-payment module has to be made to the designated account, depending on the State in which the forest land proposed to be diverted is located.
• The deposit of compensatory levies through the e-portal will be optional till 31 August 2015.
• However, the payment of compensatory levies by User Agencies will be accepted only through the e-module from 1 September 2015.
• With the activation of the e-payment portal, no payments will be accepted other than through the portal, unless specifically ordered by Ad-hoc CAMPA.
• Initially, payments will be permitted through two modes Online challan mode through RTGS and NEFT and Offline challan mode.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)
Any user agency which diverts forest land for non-forest purpose is required to deposit prescribed amount to the government body. This amount is managed by an ad-hoc body, Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
The CAMPA was created by the Union Government under the Supreme Court order of October, 2002. So far, 38,000 crore rupees have been accumulated with the ad-hoc CAMPA.
This fund is meant for carrying out reforestation and other related activities including protection of forest area and wildlife conservation. The collected amount, however, remains unspent in absence of an institution mechanism to disburse the money to states.
The verification of receipt of compensatory levies in the ad-hoc CAMPA has, till now, been done manually.
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When: 27 August 2015