By Neyaz Elahi
Srinagar,February 11,2017 CNS: The State Forest Corporation in Jammu and Kashmir is facing huge financial crunch and its employees are salary-less from past five months. Managing Director State Financial Crunch Suresh Kumar Gupta told news agency CNS that the income of the State Forest Corporation was dependent on the sale of wood however there were hardly any buyers due to recent uprising in Kashmir Valley.
Gupta said that in a bid to ease the Corporation from financial burden, they have relieved more than three thousand of its employees and adjusted them in the Government Forest Department. A formal order in this regard has been issued by the Forest Minister Chowdary Lal Singh.
He admitted that the Corporation has failed to pay salaries on time in some of its working divisions. An interim relief and some allowances that was announced by the government last year was delayed due to financial crisis.
He said that one of the biggest causes of financial crunch is the prohibition of exporting timber to outside states. “This prohibition is in vogue since 1996. The irony is that the Corporation has been banned to export the timber to outside states while there is no ban on the import of timber from these states,” Gupta said and claimed that the Corporation can generate profits if ban on exporting timber is lifted.
Pertinently, the Jammu Kashmir State Forest Corporation is a statutory Corporation established under the J&K State Forest Corporation Act, 1978. The erstwhile Government Lumbering Undertaking (GLU), which used to carry out extraction and sale of timber in the State, was merged into the State Forest Corporation. The objectives of the Corporation are better preservation, supervision and development of forests and better exploitation of forest produce. (CNS)