The country's forest and tree cover has increased by 728 and 1,106 sq km respectively, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said in the Rajya Sabha Monday.

Quoting the "India State of Forest Report 2009?, Ramesh said in a written reply to the house: ?There is no policy/scheme for giving carbon credit norms to states for increasing forest cover."

However, under the award of 13th Finance Commission, a grant of Rs.5,000 crore has been allocated as 'Forest Grants' to the states on the basis of their forest cover in relation to the national average and the quality of the forests in each state as measured by density, added Ramesh.

There has been a net increase in mangrove forest cover on the east coast of India. The mangrove cover which was 4,581 sq km in 2005, increased to 4,639 sq km in 2007.

Keywords: afforestation