NEW DELHI: After ‘Make in India’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has zeroed in on bamboo to challenge China and Vietnam’s hegemony in the world market. Modi has entrusted the NITI Aayog to draw a roadmap, including a Bill to be introduced in Parliament. Bamboo is a strong carbon absorber, and Modi wants to make it popular in line with his assertions at the G20 and Paris agreement.
“Despite the Centre spending on expansion of bamboo coverage, area under cultivation has only gone down,” NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand said. “We have readied the National Bamboo Architecture, which has been approved by the PMO. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare will be the nodal agency to execute the action plan for the revival of the bamboo economy.”
The PM believes the rise in bamboo economy will help increase rural income. Modi also wants bamboo products to play key roles in the ambitious schemes of Housing For All by 2022, Swachh Bharat Mission, and the World Bank-funded Deen Dayal Aajivika Mission.
“Under forest law, bamboo is defined as minor forest produce. This needs to be changed for its commercial usage. Ministry of Environment and Forests has been asked to bring a bill in Parliament to consider this change in the Indian Forest Act,” said Chand.
As part of the action plan on revival of bamboo economy, state cells will be created with fixed timeline targets with the PMO monitoring the progress. States have to do away with current situations of multiple levies imposed on movements of bamboo by mandis, Agricultural Produces and Marketing Cooperatives, and forest departments, noted Chand.