Rajya Sabha passes forest bill to remove bamboo from ‘tree’ category

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which excludes bamboo from the definition of “tree”, even as the opposition members, opposing the Bill and questioning the government’s intentions behind bringing this legislation, walked out.

The Bill will replace the Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance that was promulgated by the President on November 23 this year.

The Indian Forest Act, 1927, placed bamboo in the definition of “tree”, besides palms, stumps, brush-wood and canes, and hence felling and transportation of bamboo required permit.

The government argued that the exclusion of bamboo from the definition of “tree” would promote bamboo cultivation and reduce the country’s dependence on imported bamboo.