Minimum support price for forest products soon: Minister

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 13, 2012 08:50 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) The government has decided to fix a minimum support price (MSP) for minor forest produce such as tendu leaves, bamboo and raisin, according to Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo. The move will benefit poor tribal communities as the trade of forest products is controlled largely by industries and contractors.

"The government is working on fixing a minimum support price for all minor forest produce soon. MSP will be fixed for all non-timber products," Deo told IANS.

"The proposal has been approved by the finance ministry and the Planning Commission. It will be brought into the cabinet very soon," he added.

Government estimates show that the annual trade in forest produce is close to the tune of Rs.50,000 crore per year. The trade in tendu leaves, used in making bidis, and bamboo, used in making paper and construction, alone account for over Rs.2,000 crore.

Officials in the Tribal Affairs Ministry said the ministry will set up a Minor Forest Produce Commission along the lines of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices to decide the support prices and other guidelines.

The commission is scheduled to be launched next year.

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