Rules

The West Bengal forest (Establishment and Regulation of Saw-Mills and other Wood- Based Industries) Rules, 1982.


Short title, extent and commencement.

    • These rules may be called the West Bengal Forest (Establishment and Regulation of Saw Mills and other wood-Based Industries) Rules, 1982.
    • These rules extend to the whole of the State of West Bengal.
    • They shall come into force on such date as the State Government may, by notification in the official Gazettee, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of these rules and for different districts and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of these rules shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision in relation to such district to which these rules have been brought into force.

    In these rules, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,

  • “ the Act” means the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (16 of 1927);
    • “Authorised Officer” means a Forest Officer not below the rank of an Additional Divisional Forest Officer whom the State Government of any officer empowered by the State Government in this behalf may, by notification in the Official Gazette, authorize to carry out the provisions of all or any of the purposes of these rules and may assign him such local limits as may be specified in the notification;
    • “document” includes a valid record in the form of a pass or permit or receipt indicating the transaction of forest produce;
    • “factory” means any premises including the precincts thereof
      • whereon ten or more worker are working or were working on any day of the preceding twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of power or is ordinarily so carried on, or
      • wherein twenty or more workers are working or were working on any day of preceding twelve months and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of power or is ordinarily so carried on but does not include a mine subject to the operation of the Mines Act, 1952 (35 of 1952) or a railway running shed;
    • “Form” means a Form appended to these rules ;
    • “ Licence” means a licence granted under the rules;
    • “Permit” means a written permission for carrying out any of the acts or operations covered by these rules;
    • “Person” includes a body, a company or a society duly registered for the purpose of carrying on a business;
    • “Saw-mill” means a mill for sawing timber or logs into logs or beams or scantlings or planks or battens and includes hand saws whether in a fixed structure or enclosure or not;
    • “Section” means a section of the Act;
    • “Unit” means an establishment for manufacturing or processing or preparing and having a distinctive existence, which may or may not be the part of a whole.
  • Any expression used in these rules but not defined and defined in the Act, shall have the same meaning as in the Act.
    • Circumstances prohibiting establishment of sawmills, etc. and grant of licence.

    • No person shall establish a saw-mill and other units including factories of the categories mentioned in section 51A.
      • within a straight distance of two kilometers from the nearest Government forest boundary; and
      • without obtaining a licence in Form I issued by an Authorized Officer.
      • All persons carrying on business in saw-mills and other units including factories immediately before the commencement of these rules shall also obtain licence from the Authorised Officer.
      • for the purpose of clause (a) such persons shall apply in Form II within a period of 5 (five) months 4, 5 from the date of commencement of these rules and may carry on the said business or occupation until a licence is granted under these rules or is informed in writing about the refusal thereof

    Application for licence.

    Rule 4 :
    • Every person intending to carry on business or occupation covered by these rules shall apply to the Authorised Officer in Form II for a licence mentioned in Rule 3 together with the clearance certificate of ST/IT, Panchayat Samity/Municipality/ Municipal Corporation / WBSEB / CESC and District Industries Centre with location details, viz PS, sheet No., Mouza, JL No. and Plot No.
    • On receipt of an application for licence, the Authorised Officer shall after making such inquiry as the may think fit and within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of such application either grant or refuse to grant the licence. Provided that no licence shall be granted unless the Authorized Officer is satisfied about the location, availability of raw material, financial capacity and past records in business of such person. Where the Authorised Officer refuses to grant such licence, he shall record the reasons for so doing and such reasons shall be communicated to the person in writing
    • For the purpose of inquiry under sub-rule (2) the Aurhorised Officer may exercise the following powers :
      • enter into or upon any land, survey and demarcate the same, make a map thereof and authorized any other officer to do so;
      • call for such documents as he deems necessary for ascertaining the merit of the application
    • In disposing of the applications for licence, the Authorized Officer shall consult the Ban-O-Bhumi Sanskar Sthayee Samiti of the Zilla Parishad as constituted under the West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973, (West Ben. Act XLI of 1973). A representative of the Department of Cottage and Small-Scale Industries of the concerned District shall be associated in such consultation. In the case of Calcutta, a Committee shall be constituted by the State Government with such members as it may consider necessary for such consultation by the Authorized Officer.
    • 4(A)
      • Change of ownership may be permitted by the Authorized Officer. However, in case of transfer of ownership through inheritance due to the death of the owner, legal-heir certificate by the next of kin, together with no objection certificate by the other heirs shall have to be produced. In cases of transfer of ownership by sale, a copy of the ‘sale-deed’ together with ST/IT clearance certificate of the new owner shall have to be produced.
      • If the owner desires to change the name of the unit, the owner has to apply, stating reasons for doing so and by depositing a fee of Rs.100/- to the Authorized Officer, along with relevant papers including Income Tax/Sales Tax Clearance Certificate.
      4(B)
      • Licence for saw mills and other wood based industries would be issued under three categories as –
        • Licence for wood based industries of General Category.
        • Licence for secondary units of wood based industries.
        • Licence for wood based industries dependent completely on imported timber.
      4(C)
      • GENERAL
        • All provisions of the West Bengal Forests (Establishment and Regulation of Saw Mills and other Wood Based Industries) Rules, 1982 and its amendments made from time to time would be applicable.
        • Units having licence under this category would be free to use raw material procured from any source, e.g. local timber, timber sold by FD through auction, timber imported from other states, timber imported through Open General Licence etc.
        • Such units would be free to install machinery of any category subject to prior clearance of the Authorized Officer and also subject to restriction to already specified annual installed capacity
        • New licence under this category will be issued only if it is found by the competent authority that there is surplus timber available from all sources qua capacity of existing licensed units.
      • Secondary Units :
        • All provisions of the West Bengal Forests (Establishment and Regulation of Saw Mills and other Wood Based Industries) Rules, 1982 and its amendments made time to time would be applicable. Besides this, the following specific regulations would also be applicable –
          • The secondary units of saw mills and wood-based industries would be categorized on the basis of the machinery installed
          • These units will have only vertical band saw, for cutting of Blocks of timber (sawn timber) into smaller pieces. No machinery for sawing of round logs (e.g. horizontal saw and trolley) for peeling/slicing of timber for plywood would be permitted.
          • These units will also include ply board pasting units (without peeling/ slicing machines), furniture manufacturing units, handicrafts, toys making units and other ancillary units which use/process sawn timber.
          • Such units would not be eligible to carry out sawing of round logs. If the unit is found to have used round timber, whether from legal sources or otherwise, its licence will be liable to be cancelled in addition to other penalties as applicable.
          • Units having licence under this category would have to procure raw material from those converted by the primary licensed units under General Category.
          • Sawn timber can be brought to the unit only with a valid transit permit. Record of all such TPs will be maintained and made available during the course of inspection/surprise visit by the authorities.
          • The annual installed capacity of the unit cannot be enhanced.
          • Conversion of licence from this category to any other category of wood based units will not be permissible. New licence under this category may be issued by the competent authority without linking it with timber availability qua capacity of existing licensed units.
      • Units running exclusively on imported timber
        • Wood based industries licence for units dependent completely on imported timber will be issued for units located in identified zone as per Annexure. All provisions of the West Bengal Forests (Establishment and Regulation of Saw Mills and other Wood Based Industries) Rules, 1982 and its amendments made time to time would be applicable. Besides, the following regulations would be applicable:
          • The unit will exclusively use only imported timber and under no circumstances it will use any other timber in its unit.
          • If at any point of time, during inspection/surprise check or by other means, the unit is found to have utilized any timber other than the imported timber brought under cover of a valid transit permit, the licence of such unit shall be cancelled in addition to other applicable penalties/action.
          • The units will maintain complete and authenticated documents regarding the details of the imported timber and submit a periodical report to the Authorized Officer in the prescribed form. In addition, copies of agreement with importer, timber utilized, balance timber, import-export license, transit permits and other relevant documents will be kept at the factory premises by the licensee and make them available during inspection /surprise checks by the authority.
          • Timber will be brought to the factory only under the cover of a valid transit permit. Record of all such TPs should be maintained and made available during inspection/surprise checks by authorities.
          • The annual installed capacity of such units will not be enhanced.
          • Special licence fee may be prescribed by the State Government for this category, to be notified from time to time in Official Gazette
            Application for renewal of License
      5(1)
        • An application for renewal of a licence shall be made in Form III along with the declaration in form-VII (Proposed hereinafter) once in a year 10 and with the fee specified in Sub-rule (I) of Rules 6 before the expiry of the previous licence.
          A fine of Rs.10/- per day shall have to be paid if the application for renewal of licence reaches the office of the Authorised Officer after the expiry of the licence but within three months, from the date of such expiry beyond which such unit shall be treated as unauthorized.
        • The Authorised Officer shall deal with the application for renewal of licence in the manner provided in Sub-rule (2) of Rule 4 and shall renew or refuse the license within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application.
        • No application for renewal of a licence shall be rejected unless the holder of such licence has been given an opportunity of presenting his case and unless the Authorised Officer is satisfied that ---
          • the application for such renewal has been made after the expiry of the period specified therefor, or
          • any statement made by the person making application for the grant or renewal of the licence was incorrect or materially false, or
          • such person has contravened any of the terms of conditions of the licence or any provision of the Act or these rules, or
          • such person does not fulfill the terms and conditions for such licence.
        • Upto six months the power to renew the license or refuse the renewal shall vest with the concerned Conservator of Forests, subject to payment of Rs.1000/- lump sum and further subject to the conditions laid down in paras (ii) (iii) & (iv) of sub-rule (3) of rule 5. The Conservator of Forests shall remain empowered up to 6 months of expiry of the license after which such unit shall be treated as unauthorized and will be liable for closure and the license will automatically be treated as cancelled.
      6(1)

        Procedure for making application for licence or renewal of licence.

      • Every application referred to in Clause (b) of Sub-rule (2) of Rule3, Sub-rule (1) of Rule 4 and Sub-rule (1) of Rule 5 shall be accompanied by a challan as a token of deposit in the Government Treasury or the State Bank of India or the Reserve Bank of India, Calcutta, of a non-refundable application fee of Rs.300/- (Rupees three hundred) only.
      • The licence referred to in Sub-rule (2) of Rule 4 shall be issued on payment of a licence fee of –
        • For small industries – Rs.1500/- (Rs. One thousand and five hundred) only.
        • For medium industries Rs.3000/- (Rs. Three thousand) only.
        • For large industries Rs.5000/- (Rs. Five thousand) only.
      6(2)
      • Licence for units under the category of units dependant completely on imported timber shall be issued on payment of such licence fee to be prescribed by the State Government by issuing notification from time to time in the Official Gazette.
      • 6(2)(II)
        • Every unit based on imported timber during the time of issue of licence, shall have to pay a onetime processing fee of Rs. 75,000/-only for saw mills and Rs.1.5 lakh only for veneer/plywood mill.
        • Every unit under General category, during the time of issue of licence shall have to pay a one time processing fee of Rs. 25,000/-only, irrespective of its area of operation.
        • Every unit under the secondary unit category, durin the time of issue of licence shall have to pay a one time processing fee of Rs. 5,000/-only, irrespective of its area of operation: provided that secondary units dealing with ply board pasting shall have to pay a one time processing fee of Rs. 25,000/- .
        6(2)(III)
      • Units issued licence under all categories will have the category mentioned clearly on the body of the licence and will be issued in different coloured papers and it will be incumbent upon all licensed units to display the licence in original in the office of the unit. The colour of licence for General units will be white, for Secondary units pink and for units based on imported timber green.
      • Licence granted under these rules ----
        • shall be valid for one year from the date it is granted,
        • shall not be transferable, and
        • shall be renewable for a period not exceeding one year at a time on payment of renewal fee of
        • for small industries Rs.500/- (Rs. Five hundred) only
        • for medium industries Rs.1000/- (Rs. One thousand) only
        • for large industries Rs.2000/- (Rs. Two thousand) only and such renewal shall be in Form IV for each unit.

    Note – for the purpose of Sub-rule 2 and 3 of Rule 6, small industries will mean industries having installed capacity below 300 cum per year, medium industries will mean industries having installed capacity more than 300 cum but less than 1500 cum per year and large industries will mean industries having installed capacity about 1500 cum per year.

    Shifting

    6(A)
    • If the owner desires to shift his saw mill/unit from one place to another but within the jurisdiction of the same Authorised Officer, he will apply to the Authorised Officer stating the reasons thereof. The Authorised Officer after making such enquiry as he deems fit, in terms of sub-Rule (2) of Rule 4, but within 30 days of receipt of the application, may grant the prayer, provided the nature of the business remains the same or e may refuse it and record the reason(s) of refusal in writing.

      However, if the application is made to shift the unit outside the jurisdiction of the present Authorised Officer, the Authorised Officer shall forward the application along with all relevant papers/documents together with a report after proper enquiry on the good conduct or otherwise of the unit to the second Authorised Officer in whose jurisdiction the unit is requested to e shifted. The second Authorised Officer shall deal with the matter in the same manner as mentioned herein before, and within 30 days of the receipt of the documents from the first Authorised Officer, shall grant the application or refuse the same after recording the reasons in writing. Provided that the shifting of wood based industries falling in the general category and the special category of the secondary wood based units from one place to another would be allowed and shifting of industries from one place to another place, for units falling under imported timber based category, will not be permissible.

    Suspension or Cancellation of Licence

    Authorised Officers within whose jurisdiction the unit lies may for reasons to be recorded by him in writing, suspend or cancel any licence granted or renewed under these rules. 19 Provided that no such suspension or cancellation shall be made except after giving the holder of the licence an opportunity of being heard.

    Appeal.

    • An appeal from an order refusing to grant or to renew a licence under sub-rule (2) of rule 4 or sub-rule (2) of Rule 5 as the case may be, or an order suspending or canceling a licence under rule 7, shall lie ---
    • if the order is made by the Authorised Officer with the Conservator of Forests of the Circle concerned or
    • if the order is made by the Conservator of Forests of the Circle concerned, with the Chief Conservator of Forests, West Bengal.
    • An appeal under this rule shall be preferred within 30 days from the date of communication of the order appealed against and shall be registered in a book to be called the Register of appeal which shall be maintained by the appellate authority in Form V:
    • Provided that the appellate authority may admit any appeal preferred after the expiry of the period as aforesaid if it is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal in time.
    • Every order passed in appeal under these rules shall be final.

    Maintenance of register and submission of declaration to the Authorised Officer.

    • A licensee under these Rules shall maintain register in form VI & Form VII .
    • Deleted.

    Inspection and verification of records

    • The Conservator of Forests of the Circle concerned or the Authorised Officer or any Inspector not below the rank of a Deputy Ranger / Forester duly appointed, may inspect and verify during working hours without notice the following within the premises of the saw-mills and other units including factories of a licensee ---
      • records required to be maintained under sub-rule (1) of rule 9;
      • stock of raw materials present; and
      • stock a sawn timber or manufactured products or processed products.
    • During such inspection and verification, the licensee or his authorised agent, employees and workers shall be lawfully required to extend all possible assistance and produce all documents and records as may be required during such inspection and verification.

    Production of licence, permit etc for inspection and verification

    For the purpose of rule 10, the licensee shall when required to do so, produce immediately for inspection and verification ---

    • any licence, permit or other documents granted to him or required to be kept by him under the provisions of these rules
    • any forest produce or raw material or manufactured or processed product or any product in the process of manufacturer in his control, custody or possession whether located in the premises or not.

    Transit pass for Forest Produce

    All forest produce entering or leaving a saw-mill and other units including factories shall be covered by a transit pass duly issued under the provisions of the West Bengal Forest Transit Rules, 1959.

    Appointment of Forest Officer as Inspector

    As soon as may be after the commencement of these rules in any district, the Conservator of Forests of the Circle concerned may, for the purpose of these rules, appoint one or more Forest Officer not below the rank of a Deputy Ranger / Forester as Inspector or Inspectors for an area to be specifically mentioned in the order.

    Penalties

    Any person contravening any of the provisions of these rules shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.

    14(A)
    • For violation of any provision as prescribed above, a notice for closure of such mill would be issued by the Authorised Officer.
    • The owner of the licence would be given an opportunity of being heard for the violation of rule and for the first time, a penalty in the form of fine may be imposed by the Authorised Officer along with suitable compensation for causing harm to the nature and environment.
    • For second violation, the Authorised Officer will be at his liberty to issue an order for suspension of licence for a period up to six-months along with suitable fine and compensaton.
    • For subsequent violation, the Authorised Officer will be at his liberty to issue an order for the closure of the unit.
    • In such, cases, the licensee would be free to appeal to the respective Conservator of Forests and Appellate Authority, against the order of the closure within 30(thirty) days from the date of receipt of the said order. The decision of the Conservator of Forests (CF), in this regard will be final.
    • If the CF finds it appropriate, he may refer the case to a committee comprising three members which would be constituted by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, consultation with the Department of Forests.
    • A defaulting unit will not be given any license in future for any other wood based industries.
    • These provisions will be applicable to licensed units of all categories.
    • For units having licence under secondary unit category, if at any point of time, during checking, they are found to have used round timber, whether from legal sources or otherwise, their licence will be cancelled immediately by the Authorised Officer.
    • For units having licence under the category of imported timber based units, if at any point of time during the course of checking, are found to have used indigenous timber, whether from legal sources or otherwise, their licence will be cancelled immediately by the Authorised Officer.
    • The rates of compensation would be prescribed by the State Government from time to time, by issuing Government Order through notification.
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