Punjab government to issue 5,651 licenses to wood products companies including 5,290 sawmills, 203 plywood mills; forest minister says state has 0.4 million m3 of surplus wood

LOS ANGELES , November 14, 2011 () – The Punjab government is to issue licenses to 5,651 wood product companies including 5,290 sawmills, 139 veneer mills and 203 plywood factories, according to a report by The Economic Times.

Punjab Forest and Wild Life Preservation Minister Arunesh Shakir said the Supreme Court had ordered the closure of 360 unlicensed wood-based industries (WBI) units established after Oct. 30, 2002, but the Central Empowered Committee has now given permission for the licenses to be issued in return for a one-off payment.

Shakir said the state has 3.2 million m3 of wood available to industry annually, but consumption is currently 2.8 million m3/year. He said setting up around 200 business units would consume the surplus 0.4 million m3 and generate direct and indirect employment for thousands of young people in the state.

According to Shakir, the state government is also studying the viability of establishing plywood factories with the Punjab Forest Corp. that would motivate farmers to establish poplar and eucalyptus plantations.

The primary source of this article is The Economic Times, Mumbai, India, on Nov. 13, 2011.

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