Wood Based Industries Are Now on Government Priority - Rajiv Parashar, Editor, Ply Reporter

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The budget of 2022-23 had a brief note, where focus on Agro forestry was mentioned. Recently when a web conference was held in presence of Prime Minister, the outcome was very clear that wood based industries and agro-forestry will be soon free from chains that have been a problem area for growth. Picking up excerpts from industry, officers and experts side, forming committee to make road map for agro forestry and the contribution of wood based industries is now seems a move in the right direction.

Federation of Indian Plywood and Panel Industries led by President Mr. Sanjjan Bhajanka presented a paper during a webinar with PMO and requested for a policy change, which will be needed for development of Indian wood based industries. He sought for the intervention of the Prime Minister of India for the fast execution of the purpose. FIPPI proposed shifting agro-forestry from forest to agriculture sector and thereby providing all the economic benefits of agriculture to the farmers engaged in agro-forestry. He also proposed the removal of licensing requirement for wood-based units including Veneer Mills, Saw Mills, Plywood Factories, Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) Units, Particle Board Units, Pulp and Paper Units, Furniture Industry and all other industries that primarily use ‘farm wood’ and its produce as raw materials.

India has the advantage of scale, second largest arable land resource in the world that can be an asset in achieving self-reliance in timber. However, as India’s real estate and furniture demand booms, reliance on timber imports is likely as India looks to meet its composite panel requirements. He suggested that a 5 percent shift of agriculture area from cash crops to timber plantations through incentives would result in enhancing farmer’s incomes, ensuring sustained supply to the wood-based industries and significantly increasing rural employment generation, thus arresting the rural Indian brain drain and strengthening the country’s green cover and ecology.

Mr. R K Sapra, Ex MD, Haryana Forest Development Corporation also presented his paper in the meeting, and he also advocated for the removal of licensing of wood based industries on the basis of timber availability, development of agro forestry and plantation in India etc. FIPPI president Mr. Bhajanka believes that the Government is very serious about supporting wood based industries in India, and licensing requirements for setting up new units would be removed shortly

In a brief, this issue has covered an interaction with Mr. Manoj Lohia (Merino), Mr. Shekhar Sati, (Greenpanel), Mr. Prakash Tawania, (Core, Surat), who threw lights on new changes and development in industries and trade. It will be a learning for fellow industry and trade people. The launching of REHAU Kitchen and celebration of successful 25th years of REHAU India has also been published. The many news reports, current affairs, as well as the coverage of launches, product updates etc are worth reading.

Wishing all a happy and prosperous Financial Year 2022-23 !

Rajiv Parashar

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