Forest dept eyes CSR funds to enhance green cover

Forest dept eyes CSR funds to enhance green cover

The Forest department is eyeing the money available under corporate social responsibility funds (CSR) of various companies to develop forests.

The new CSR Rules which came into effect from April 1, 2014, as part of the Companies Act, 2013, provide that every company, private or public limited, which has a networth of Rs 500 crore or a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore or net profit of Rs five crore, should spend at least two per cent of its three-year annual net profit on corporate social responsibility activities.

Vinay Luthra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), said that the department was making a list of companies which have an annual turnover of more than Rs 1,000 crore.

“Bangalore has a large number of IT companies, corporate houses and public sector undertakings. We will ask them to spend their CSR funds on forest development. Although they can spend the money on other sectors, we will invite the firms to join hands with us. We will hold meetings with them soon,” Luthra told Deccan Herald.

Listing some of the areas which need immediate attention, Luthra said that a majority of anti-poaching camps do not have proper buildings, water facility and electricity.

“As many as 60 range forest officers in 40 forest divisions of Karnataka do not have vehicles. The Rapid Action Force of the department has only two vehicles. We need more number of vehicles,” he said.

The fund-starved Forest department plans to attract companies by offering them benefits such as free advertising space.

The department is also chalking out plans for adoption of zoos by companies.

Several software professionals and companies take part in tiger and elephant census held once in five years and the department plans to use tap contacts for identifying companies for CSR spend.

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