reeling under a total halt to its timber trade after the Supreme Court imposed a ban on all timber-related activities in the Northeast five years ago, the state government of Assam has formulated a new set of "Assam Wood-based Industries (Establishment and Regulation) Rules, 1999'. This has come in response to the court's recent order lifting the restrictions partially and allowing the trade to resume in select areas. The rules are slated to become effective very soon after being published in the Assam Gazette.
The regulations mention the creation of a licensing committee that will issue permits for opening new mills, among other things. The decisions to issue licences will be taken jointly by the departments of forest, industries and commerce. The reason for forming the committee is to look into all the aspects before granting a permit and make the licensing process more transparent.