Published On: Thu, Sep 8th, 2016

Ramdev’s Uttarakhand firms to pay Rs 12 cr green fee – The Economic Times

DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board is going to charge Rs 10 crore from Patanjali Yogpeeth and Rs 2 crore from its subsidiary Divya Pharmacy as annual fee for using the natural resources of the state for their products Under the Biodiversity Act, industries using natural resources for a commercial venture have to either give 5% of the cost of the resources or 0.1 to 0.5% as per the slab of their turnover to the Board annually. The Board is going to bring some 3,000 industries using natural resources under access and benefit sharing (ABS) clause of the Act, according to officials.The chairman of the Board, Rakesh Shah, told TOI, “There are some 3,000 industries in the state. We have issued notices to some 600 so far to share their benefits with the board under ABS section of the Act. However since the companies never shared their benefits earlier, so they are not forthcoming in doing so now. The giants come up with seasoned high court and Supreme Court lawyers who argue for minimising the cost under ABS.”

The finances generated from ABS are passed on by the Board to biodiversity management committees (BMC) formed by local bodi es at the village level for the conservation and management of biological resources.

The Board has to form 8,000 BMCs across the state, out of which on ly 850 have been cons tituted so far.

According to Dhananjay Prasad, deputy director of the Board, though the Act came into being in 2002, the guidelines were issued only in 2014.

Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali Trust said, “The provisions of the Biodiversity Act are still not clear to us. However, being law-abiding citizens of the country , we will share our due under ABS with the State Biodiversity Board. We are still to arrive at a final decision on the matter.”

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