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Forest dept to go online to check cartels

By Rituraj Borthakur

GUWAHATI, Aug 22 - Amid reports of cartels and syndicates being involved in the trade of forest produce, the State government has decided to make all transactions online.

The forest department has directed all DFOs to put in place the online revenue management system by August 31, so that there are no cash transactions from next month. The Chief Minister is reportedly taking keen interest in the project.

�We are taking a cue from the excise department. All revenue in the divisions should be deposited online. Also, permits, sanctions and approvals will also be given online. We have taken help from Amtron and the portal is ready,� a forest official told The Assam Tribune.

Minister Parimal Suklabaidya holds charge of both the excise and forest departments.

A workshop was conducted for all DFOs on August 17 where they were trained hands-on by Amtron personnel. Amtron will also provide the training circle-wise till August 25.

�We will hold the trial from August 26. During the first five days, if there are any issues or constraints they can be taken up with a committee headed by CCF Suman Mahapatra formed to supervise the transition,� the official said.

The forest department earned a revenue of around Rs 250 crore last year, most of it from mines and minerals. Currently, there are 211 sand and stone queries in the State. Online tender has been floated for another 68 mahals.

By plugging the leakage in the system, the department hopes to double the revenue in a year�s time. However, sources admitted that there has been resistance from the �field�.

�There are some sections which do not want it. Probably that is why despite floating the e-tender for 68 mahals three times, only 14 could be finalised so far. No bids are coming. But the government is committed to make the system transparent,� the source said.

The department is planning to make the tendering process in all its wings � plantation, nursery and infrastructure � online. A uniform format has been given to all DFOs for floating e-tenders in these wings.

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Forest dept to go online to check cartels

GUWAHATI, Aug 22 - Amid reports of cartels and syndicates being involved in the trade of forest produce, the State government has decided to make all transactions online.

The forest department has directed all DFOs to put in place the online revenue management system by August 31, so that there are no cash transactions from next month. The Chief Minister is reportedly taking keen interest in the project.

�We are taking a cue from the excise department. All revenue in the divisions should be deposited online. Also, permits, sanctions and approvals will also be given online. We have taken help from Amtron and the portal is ready,� a forest official told The Assam Tribune.

Minister Parimal Suklabaidya holds charge of both the excise and forest departments.

A workshop was conducted for all DFOs on August 17 where they were trained hands-on by Amtron personnel. Amtron will also provide the training circle-wise till August 25.

�We will hold the trial from August 26. During the first five days, if there are any issues or constraints they can be taken up with a committee headed by CCF Suman Mahapatra formed to supervise the transition,� the official said.

The forest department earned a revenue of around Rs 250 crore last year, most of it from mines and minerals. Currently, there are 211 sand and stone queries in the State. Online tender has been floated for another 68 mahals.

By plugging the leakage in the system, the department hopes to double the revenue in a year�s time. However, sources admitted that there has been resistance from the �field�.

�There are some sections which do not want it. Probably that is why despite floating the e-tender for 68 mahals three times, only 14 could be finalised so far. No bids are coming. But the government is committed to make the system transparent,� the source said.

The department is planning to make the tendering process in all its wings � plantation, nursery and infrastructure � online. A uniform format has been given to all DFOs for floating e-tenders in these wings.