India has plans to be more self-sufficient in wood supplies through cultivating commercial plantations. The plan will ease the import burden which today runs into billions of dollars. It will also help raise rural incomes as the local wood and wood-based products sector expands.
It is estimated that approximately five million hectares of land is available for this project.
Along with encouraging rural and urban planting, the government says it will remove current regulations that restrict felling, transport and sale of trees grown on private land.
The plan was discussed at a national consultation held last month, which included representatives of states and respective State Forest Departments.
Although some States have expressed reservations, citing limits on available land, most have agreed to address changes to regulations and come up with plans to encourage planting.