NEW DELHI: In order to expedite the forest clearance process, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on Thursday launched an e-payment module for receiving money for the diversion of forest land to the projects’ proponents for infrastructure projects.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the module would end delays in the deposit of compensatory levies and would simplify administrative procedures without compromising on environmental safeguards.
The deposit of compensatory levies through the e-portal will be optional till August 31, 2015. However, the payment of compensatory levies by user agencies will be accepted only through the e-module from September 1, 2015. The payment through e-payment module has to be made to the designated account depending on the state in which the forest land proposed to be diverted is located.
With the activation of the e-payment portal, no payments will be accepted other than through the portal, unless specifically ordered by Ad-hoc CAMPA. Initially, payments will be permitted through two modes - online challan mode through RTGS and NEFT and offline challan mode.
The CAMPA had been created by the Supreme Court by an order in 2002. Based on the decisions taken in the Ad-hoc CAMPA, the procedure of per-verification of credits in the state-wise accounts of the Ad-hoc CAMPA had been in operation.
Before Stage IIunder the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, the Ad-hoc CAMPA is first required to certify whether the compensatory levies have been credited to the respective accounts.
Till now, the verification of the receipt of compensatory levies in the Ad-hoc CAMPA has been done manually.