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e-Payment gateway launched for forest land diversion levies

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The government today launched an e-payment gateway to receive payments for diversion of forest land from project proponents to speed up transactions and make them "more transparent".

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, after launching the module, said that it will end delays in the deposit of such levies and asserted that the government's endeavour is to simplify the administrative procedures without compromising on environmental safeguards.

"The module will end delays in the deposit of compensatory levies. Technology must be used to the advantage of all and the government's endeavour has been to simplify administrative procedures, without compromising on environmental safeguards," the Minister said.

The payment through the module has to be made to the designated account depending on the state in which the forest land which is proposed to be diverted is located.

The deposit of compensatory levies through the e-portal will be optional till August 31 this year. However, the payment of these levies by user agencies will be accepted only through the e-module route from September 1, 2015, an official statement said.

With the activation of the e-payment portal, no payments will be accepted other than through the portal unless specifically ordered by ad-hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

CAMPA had been created by the Supreme Court. Before Stage II under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which is the final approval stage, ad-hoc CAMPA is first required to certify whether the compensatory levies have been credited to the respective accounts.

"Till now, the verification of receipt of compensatory levies in the ad-hoc CAMPA has been done manually involving various steps and is a time-taking process. The launch of e-payment module will end such delays," the statement said.

First Published: Thu, August 27 2015. 17:42 IST