Need for rationalisation of timber rates, says Com Secretary Forests

Need for rationalisation of timber rates, says Com Secretary Forests
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Launches timber home delivery from fair-price depot, Shalteng

SRINAGAR: Emphasising the need for rationalisation of timber rates in different zones, which are presently very low as compared to the market prices of timber, Commissioner Secretary to Government Forests Ecology & Environment Department Saurabh Bhagat on Saturday advised the officers of J&K State Forest Corporation to make the corporation financially more sound and profitable. He said “the corporation should bring in new technology to work in a transparent and efficient manner”.
Bhagat stated this while speaking at the 21st Steering Committee Meeting of J&K State Forest Corporation, which fixes norm/schedule of rates for lumbering operations and reserve rates for auctioning of timber, an official handout read.
The meeting was attended by PCCF/MD, J&K State Forest Corporation Suresh Chugh, PCCF (T) Manoj Pant, CCF Kashmir, CGM (S&M) SFC, CGM (P&P) J&K SFC, CGM North, SFC, Director Finance, FA&CAO, SFC.
Briefing about present schedule of rates for lumbering operations, reserve prices of timber and working of SFC, Managing Director, J&K SFC said that SFC had a limitation of working at a maximum of 80.00 lakh cft annual marking of only dry and, fallen trees as per Supreme Court orders. The corporation, he informed, has sold about 24.84 lakh cft of timber to 60,990 bonafide users after taking over of more than 870 sale depots spread throughout the state.
“During 2017-18 SFC has taken over 77.39 lakh cfts of markings, extracted 40.58 lakk cfts of (converted) timber and has sold 41.62 lakh cft in open public auctions in various timber sale depots at Jammu and Srinagar,” read the handout.
Bhagat was also apprised about the procedure right from marking, extraction to the sale of timber. He appreciated the efficient and transparent timber delivery system of SFC after taking over the timber sale depots.
He also inspected Shalteng Sale Depot, where he was apprised about auction procedure of timber and importance of Shalteng Sale Depot. He was informed that Shalteng depot is one of the main revenue generating sale depots of the corporation and during last year more than Rs. 15.00 crores worth timber was auctioned in this depot.
The Commissioner/Secretary launched home delivery of timber by SFC vehicles from Fair Price Depot Shalteng at no profit no loss basis. He also interacted with consumers who had purchased timber from the depot who showed satisfaction in the service provided by SFC to deliver the timber at their doorsteps.
Managing Director, J&K SFC apprised Saurabh Bhagat about constraints of the corporation but assured that if the rates of timber in concession zones were rationalised, SFC could earn a profit for government.