The Centre has decided to extend the benefits of the Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) to the paper industry and keen on using forest land to grow raw materials to help solve the problems of the industry.

Department of Industrial Policy and Planning (DIPP) Joint Secretary Renu Sharma told an international conference of paper manufacturers that the government was in the process of preparing a package for assisting the industry to fight against technological obsolescence which was among the major problems being faced by the industry.

The scheme would be unveiled in the coming financial year under which the government would be specifying the quantum of subsidy it intended to give to the industry on the interest charged on bank loans. At present textiles and jute industries are eligible for concessional loans.

In a bid to solve the raw material shortage of pulp stemming from the restrictions on sourcing agro-based raw materials, the proposal being mooted is to allow the use of forest land for growing such raw material while maintaining the environmental balance.

Ms. Sharma said the government was working out the project in consultation with the Central Pollution Control Board.

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