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Are states being rewarded enough for protecting forests?

Updated : December 18, 2019 05:40 PM IST

When the 14th Finance Commission included a new parameter, forests, while allocating central tax to be shared with states, the move was welcomed by conservationists.
Now, with the report of the 15th Finance Commission just a few months away, states and environmentalists demand that the Commission continue with forests as a criteria and additionally, consider rewarding states that are improving their forest cover.
However, there is also a question over whether the higher grant of funds will make any difference to people whose lives are either dependent on forests or impacted by the diversion of forest areas for non-forestry uses like mining.
Are states being rewarded enough for protecting forests?

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