NCCF invites suggestions for revival and long term sustainability of the wood based industries in India under Atma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan Yojana
The government has recently announced a special economic stimulus package under the plan called Atma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (ANBA) (self-reliant India) with the aim of making the country independent against the tough competition in the global supply chain and to help in empowering the poor, labourers, migrants who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. The Government is considering various reforms and measures for the revival and long term sustainability of Medium, Small and Micro-enterprises (MSMEs), a vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy.
One of the important segments of MSMEs is the wood based industries which has immense potential to develop a green and self-reliant India.
Forest Survey of India has estimated that nearly 85% supply of industrial wood based raw material comes from Trees outside Forests (ToF). The remaining wood demand is met from forests and imports. India is a net importer of wood.
Wood based industries in India fall under the categories like Furniture, Handicrafts, MDF, Particle Board, Plywood, Veneers, Pulp, Paper and Paper products, Packaging, Wood planks, Toys and Games, Textiles and Bobbins etc. The sector has a huge potential of employment generation and increase its share of contribution to India’s GDP. We have a great opportunity to be among the top global manufacturers and exporters.
We from NCCF welcome this initiative of the government and through an internal consultation, identified following key issues for priority attention:
1. Focus on planning and forecasting sector specific future wood demand, strengthening, easing and scaling up sourcing of raw material in the country and gradually reducing import requirements.
2. Development of uniform technical regulations using appropriate standards across the manufacturing units for sourcing and quality of products manufactured, whether for import or for domestic markets. E.g. For chemical and toxic emissions (like Formaldehyde), a regulation should be developed to cut down such emissions to safe levels, for example from wood-based building material, i.e. composite wood boards.
3. Recognize voluntary certification schemes and standards as co-regulation and deemed compliance where certification criteria include legal requirements of technical regulation.
4. Our import conditions are liberal and deficient in technical regulations. We, therefore, need to have a uniform wood import policy with necessary technical regulations. We should aim to substitute imports with domestic alternatives as far as possible, over a period of time.
5. Set-up export hubs (SEZ) for furniture industry and marts for local furniture products too as for export clusters, to address the domestic demand;
6. Facilitating Sawmill Industry and Wood Processing Industry to ensure ready raw materials at competitive costs and of good quality.
7. Promoting green procurement in public procurement by focusing on Due Diligence, Responsible Sourcing and Forest Certification in government’s procurement policies.
8. Uniform transit and transportation policy for wood and wood products PAN India.
9. Building/expanding certified source of wood plantations in India. NCCF has developed country specific schemes for Forest Management and Trees outside Forest (ToF), that are internationally benchmarked and offer immense potential to provide certified raw material in the country.
10. At present the government is not regulating certification of forests or trees outside forests (ToF) in India and it may not be feasible to do so; therefore, voluntary certification of such ToF should be incentivized as being done in case of good agricultural practice (GAP) certification by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare/APEDA.
11. Skill Development & Capacity Building for wood, plantation and supply chain related industries.
Managing various aspects of wood based industries requires inter sectoral coordination by the concerned Ministries, State Governments, Industry, Industry Associations and other stakeholders. NCCF has drafted a background note with some suggestions for revival and long term sustainability of the wood based industries.
Please reach out to us for any comments and suggestions:
Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests
Background note could be accessed at the following link :-