HC Deb 27 June 1927 vol 208 cc6-7

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the net profits from the working of forest departments in India in 1924–25 was Rs.21,400,000, showing a yield from forests of about 2 annas per acre; that about one-fifth of British India, approximating to 250,000 square miles, is covered by forests, but of this only about 100,000 square miles are under intensive management; that it has been calculated that if by proper development the yield was increased, as it can be to Rs.3 per acre the total income would amount to about Rs.400,000,000 per annum; and, in view of the fact that, with the exception of Bombay and Burma, forests are a reserved subject, any steps are being taken, or are proposed to be taken, to develop this source of income for India?


The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative. The calculation in the third part of the question has been brought to my notice before. The steps that have been and are being taken to develop this source of revenue for India are described on pages 261 to 265 of the Report on the Moral and Material Progress of India during 1925–26. As the hon. Member is no doubt aware, the progress in forest development is necessarily slow and the authorities who look forward to a revenue of Rs.400,000,000 no doubt recognise that many years' work will be required before this result can be attained. The revenue has nearly doubled since 1913–14.