New rules not diluting Forest Rights Act, says govt

The Centre on Sunday sought to refute the Congress’ allegations that the Forest (Conservation) Rules 2022 dilute the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

“No rule or provisions of any act is being diluted. The process has been streamlined for reducing the timelines for arrival at the final decision,” it said, adding that the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry has promulgated the rules with the objective to streamline the process of approvals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, by introducing the concept of collective decision making, parallel processing of proposals, address the dynamic changes in the ecological values of trees/forests, adopting new technologies for smoothening and streamlining the submission and processing of application, and to eliminate redundant processes.

As per provisions contained in the The Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, the Ministry has transacted the business allocated to it by way of promulgating the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022 to streamline the process of approvals as per the mandate given, it said.

“Approval to be considered under the new regime of Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022, to be duly communicated to state and other concerned agencies, will also stipulate mandatory compliance of provisions of Forest Rights Act, 2006 before state government/UT administration issues final diversion order for handing over the land to the user agency,” it said.

Congress has charged the government with diluting the act. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: “‘Modi-Mitr’ Sarkar at its crony best!For ‘ease of snatching’ forest land, BJP govt has come up with new FC Rules, 2022 diluting UPA’s Forest Rights Act, 2006.

Congress stands strongly with our Adivasi brothers & sisters in their fight to protect Jal, Jungle and Zameen.”

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