Draft Compensatory Afforestation Fund Rules, 2017
The ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) has come up with draft rules to implement the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) Act 2016. The draft has stirred up a controversy with civil societies alleging that stakeholders have not been consulted while in the process. However, union environment minister, while responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha recently, said that the ministry will publish the draft rules in the Gazette, seeking stakeholders' comments once it has been vetted by the ministry of law and justice. The CAF Act, which was passed by the Parliament in July 2016, approved the release of more than Rs 42,000 crore to be spent on afforestation and wildlife protection projects by making it compulsory for agencies which use forest lands to disburse funds for afforestation projects in lieu of the area that was diverted by them.