Paper Industry Urges Government to Allow Pulpwood Plantation in Degraded Land
With the objective to enable the paper industry on a path to be self-reliant and resolve the raw material availability issues, IPMA insists the government for allowing pulpwood plantation in degraded land and available land near mills.
The Indian paper industry, which has been going through inadequate raw material availability, has requested the government to allow pulpwood plantations on degraded forest land and non-forest government land near paper mills. This move would also help increase the green cover in the country.
In its pre-budget submission to the Ministry of Finance, the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) stated that raw material security is necessary for the paper industry to become self-reliant. The argument was further supported with the request to the government asking to consider its proposal for allowing pulpwood plantation in degraded land.
As per the statement by IPMA, being a wood fiber-deficient country, inadequate raw material availability is a major constraint for the domestic paper industry in meeting the growing demand for paper led by drivers such as growth in the education sector and discouraging use of single-use plastic.
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Mr. A S Mehta, President, IPMA, said, “We sincerely want the government to consider our proposal of offering degraded land to the industry for pulpwood plantation. Restoration of degraded land through plantation by the paper industry could help India meet its target of increasing green cover in the country and make India a world leader in paper manufacturing.”
Calling the proposed plan a “win-win” situation, he further explained that the implementation of this idea will lead to the greening of India, unlocking the significant potential for employment generation, especially in rural areas.
As per the views shared by IPMA, the organised paper industry has invested around INR 25,000 crore in the past few years but raw material constraints are putting a spanner in the works.
“India’s paper industry looks forward to partnering in building Green India and contributing to the national objective of bringing 33 percent of the landmass in India under tree cover,” it said.
The paper industry has brought around 1.2 million hectares of land under plantations through industry-driven agro/farm forestry, said IPMA adding that India’s paper industry is wood-positive as it plants more trees than it harvests.