Odisha to get Double Forest Revenue under 15th Finance Commission

The Odisha government is going to get double forest revenue due to the new incentives laid out in the forest conservation reports. As per the 15th Finance Commission recommendations, under the ‘forest and ecology’ section, Odisha’s revenue stands at Rs 6,257 crore for the year 2020-21.

Incentivisation of forest conservation has led to a cut down on taxes for the state. This new decline in taxes will eventually enable the state to save double the amount of revenue compared as compared to the 14th Finance Commission. Under the 14th Finance Commission, Odisha had received an amount of Rs 2824 crores.

In the new report, there has been a 2.5 pc weightage increase in ‘Forest & Ecology’, taking the weightage from 7.5 pc to 10 pc. The estimate for each state is determined by measuring the fraction of dense forests categorized under the ‘dense aggregate forest’ section. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sandeep Tripathy said, “Odisha has greatly benefited as it was among the top five states in India with the parameter of the percentage of dense forests. The increased allocation is a testimony of Odisha Government’s pledge and drive to enhance the forest cover and biodiversity in the state.”

The share of states in the Centre’s taxes that has been recommended by the 15th Finance Commission was headed by NK Singh. He was required to submit two reports. The first report tabled in Parliament on February 1 this year, consisted of recommendations for the 2020-21 financial year. On October 30, 2020, the second report with recommendations for the years 2021-26 will be submitted.

Odisha’s revenue allowance in the devolution of taxes has been assessed at Rs 39,586 crore for the 2020-21 financial year. Additionally, the state will collect Rs 2258 crore for rural local bodies and Rs 1087 crore for urban local authorities.