The Scheme was launched in 1994-95 in order to stimulate involvement of the corporate sectors and financial institutions for the flow of funds for development of non-forest wastelands. The principal objectives of the scheme include (i) to facilitate/attract/chennelise/mobilise resources from financial institutions, banks, corporate bodies and individuals for development of wastelands in non-forest areas belonging to the Central and State Government, Panchayat, village communities and private farmers; (ii) to facilitate production and flow of additional bio-mass including farm forestry products used as raw material for different types of industries and horticulture/commercial plantations
2. Under this Scheme, central promotional grant/subsidy to the general category (individuals/groups) is limited to Rs. 25 lakhs or 25 percent of the project cost for on-farm development activities, whichever is less subject to the condition that the promoters contribution in the project shall not be less than 25 percent of the project cost. The quantum of subsidy in the case of small farmers is 30 percent and in the case of marginal farmers and SC/ST farmers, it is 50 percent of the project cost of on-farm development activities. The promoters contribution in the case of small farmers is 10 percent of the project cost whereas for the category of marginal and SC/ST farmers they need not make any contribution as the remaining 50 percent of project cost for on-farm development activities is made available in the farm of loan from financial institutions. The projects promoted by Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Land Development Banks and Cooperative Banks are eligible for promotional subsidy of Dept. of Land Resources under the Scheme.
3. Upto 1995-96, only four projects have been sanctioned under the Scheme. During 1996-97 and 1997-98 the Scheme could not be implemented as the Scheme was being restructured on the advice of the Standing Committee of Parliament for Urban and Rural Development to make it more popular and broad based for implementation during the Ninth Five Year Plan. The scheme has since been restructured.
4. After restructuring the scheme and with the revised guideline the scheme was restored in August, 1998. In the revised guidelines major thrust has been given for development of degraded land belonging to small and marginal farmers including SCs/STs. So far, 26 projects have been sanctioned under the Scheme. During 1999-2000 and 2000-01 a total subsidy of Rs. 23.00 lakhs and Rs. 9.73 lakhs respectively has been released. A provision of Rs. 50.00 lakhs has been made for the year 2001-02.
5. The project are monitored regularly on half-yearly basis through progress reports received from the project implementing agencies. Monitoring is also done through periodical review and field visit of the projects. The projects are also evaluated by the NABARD as and when required.
6. Efforts are being made by DoLR to make wide publicity of this scheme among the promoters and financial institutions through organising Workshop/Seminar in different states.