Historical trends in forest policy and administrative finance in India
The study aims to analyze the macroscopic relationship between historical trends in forest finance and economic conditions in India. The forest area of India has been stable for the last 30 years, even though forest stock per person is far less compared to the average of other Asian countries. In this study, both interviews with government officials and secondary information were analyzed to understand historical trends in forestry finance in the Indian administrative and legislative systems on a broader spectrum. The administrative budget of India is divided into plan outlay and non-plan outlay. The plan outlay budget is used for general construction activities as it is finalized based on the discussion between forestry department and planning commission. India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fluctuated until the 1970s, but it is gradually stabilized and ranged from 4 % to 8 % since the 1980s. Forestry and wildlife legislations including new governmental organizations were also established during the period of 1970s and 1980s. However, Kerala state established such legislations and organizational set up earlier than the central government. Consequently, the area of plantation has also increased steadily in the state since the 1960s, even though the GSDP (Gross State Domestic Products) was not so stable even in the 1980s. It is obvious that forest resources can be maintained under stable economic growth through the support of effective policies; however, the case revealed that financing for plantations depends on organizational efficiency. The increasing budget amount and organizational expansion are correlated, however, such budget is rarely utilized by local people. Further studies are recommended to find out whether local people benefited by these policies and participatory initiatives.
Tropics 17(2), 135-146, 2008-04-30
JAPAN SOCIETY OF TROPICAL ECOLOGY