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SRINAGAR: Shri Saurabh Bhagat, IAS, Commissioner/Secretary to Govt. Forests Ecology & Environment Department chaired the 21st Steering Committee Meeting of J&K State Forest Corporation, which fixes norm/ schedule of rates for lumbering operations and reserve rates for  auctioning of timber. The meeting among other was attended by PCCF/ MD, J&K State Forest Corporation Shri Suresh Chugh, IFS, PCCF (T) Shri Monaj Pant, IFS, CCF Kashmir, Shri Farooq Gellani, IFS, Shri A.N.Peerzada, CGM (S&M) SFC,  Shri Ishtiaq Ahmad Bhatt, CGM (P&P) J&K SFC, Shri Whajat Javed Koul, CGM North, SFC, Shri Itoo, Director Finance, Shri Manohar Lal, FA&CAO, SFC. 

At the outset Commissioner/Secretary, Forests advised the officers of J&K State Forest Corporation to make the Corporation financially more sound and profitable. He emphasizes on need for rationalization of timber rates in different zones which are presently very low as compared to the market prices of timber. He said that Corporation should bring in new technology  to work in a transparent and efficient manner.

Managing Director, J&K SFC gave a brief about present schedule of rates for lumbering operations, reserve prices of timber and working of SFC. He said that SFC has a limitation of working at a maximum of 80.00 lakh cft   annual marking of only dry and, fallen trees as per Hon’ble Supreme Court orders.  He further informed that the Corporation has sold about 24.84 lac cft of timber to 60,990 bona-fide users after taking over of more than 870 sale depots spread throughout the State.

During 2017-18 SFC has taken over 77.39 lakh cfts of markings,  extracted 40.58 lack cfts of (converted ) timber  and has sold 41.62 lakh cft in open public auctions  in various timber sale depots at Jammu and Srinagar. The Commissioner/Secretary was also apprised about the procedure right from marking, extraction to sale of timber. He appreciated the efficient and transparent timber delivery system of SFC after taking over the timber sale depots. 

Later in the day Commissioner/Secretary, Forests inspected Shalteng Sale Depot, where he was apprised about auction procedure of timber and importance of Shalteng Sale Depot. He was informed that Shalteng depot is one of the main revenue generating sale depots of Corporation and during last year more than Rs. 15.00 Crores worth timber was auctioned in this Depot.

The Commissioner /Secretary later launched home delivery of timber by SFC vehicles from Fair Price depot Shalteng at no profit no loss basis. He also interacted with consumers who had purchased timber from Fair Price Depot, they were satisfied by the service provided by SFC to deliver the timber at their door steps. The Managing Director, J&K SFC apprised Commissioner/Secretary Forests about constrains of Corporation but assured that if the rates of timber in concession zones are rationalized, SFC can earn profit for Government.