Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC)?
    South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) is a not-for-profit public sector company incorporated in September 2015, under section 42 of the Companies Act 2017, established by the Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries Department, Government of the Punjab. The company ensures investors interests through Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act 2014.
  2. What are the objectives of SPFC?
    The company aims to reduce burden on the forestry base of Punjab province, by encouraging private investors to invest in the forestry sector, through afforestation/reforestation activities, on the blank areas assigned to SPFC.
  3. How much area is assigned to SPFC?
    The company has been assigned 99,077 acres of forest land in Bahawalpur and D.G. Khan Civil Divisions in South Punjab.
  4. In which districts does SPFC operate?
    SPFC operates in five districts which include Bahawalpur, D.G. Khan, Rajanpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Muzaffargarh.
  5. What is the type of soil of SPFC’s land?
    The soil is mostly loamy, sandy, clayey, which varies from side to side.
  6. What benefits does SPFC offer to the wood-based industry?
    Due to the afforestation/reforestation activities by SPFC, the creation of green jobs particularly in the rural areas can be increased and sustained source of wood-based raw material to the wood-based industry can be provided.
  7. Has the Feasibility Report been approved?
    The Feasibility Report has been approved by the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Steering Committee on June 21, 2017.
  8. How can one apply for land acquisition for afforestation/reforestation activities?
    SPFC by the end of July 2017 will be advertising the Request for Proposals (RFP) in national and international newspapers, in which the areas assigned to SPFC will be offered to the private investors (both national and international) in the form of lots of reasonable size through open competitive bidding process.
  9. What is the cost of land clearing?
    It varies from site to site and approximately costs Rs. 6,000-10,000 per acre.
  10. What will be the minimum and maximum slots of landholdings?
    It varies from approx. 100 acres to 2000 acres.
  11. What will be the profit ratio?
    It will be 15% reserve price (government share) and the investor offering the highest share to the government will get the land.
  12. What will be the lease period?
    The lease period will be for 15 years.
  13. Who holds the possession of the land?
    SPFC holds the complete possession of the land allotted to it with all legal documents. The land shall be allocated to successful bidders with a forestry title deed.
  14. Will the water and soil sampling be done before allocating the land to the investors?
    The water and soil sampling has been done and the analysis shall be part of the feasibility study.
  15. Which forest species grows in the shortest possible time and how much investment is required for it?
    Sesbania aculeata fully grows in 18 months and one acre of Sesbania aculeata yields 800 mounds/acre with fertilizers, and 500 per mounds/acre without fertilizers. The cleaning cost of this species varies from Rs. 10,000 – 25,000/-.
  16. Can wildlife/range management be done along with forestry?
    The only option of national parks or biodiversity hotspots can be explored, depending on the outcome of the feasibility study and legal due diligence.
  17. Can the investors grow fruit trees along with forest trees?
    Only forest trees are allowed to grow, however, other possibilities will also be explored, but the major aim is reforestation/afforestation by growing forest tree species.
  18. With regards to foreign investments, is there any coordination with the Federal Government and the Board of Investment?
    The forests land will be offered to the investors through open competitive bidding process, which are equally applicable to both local and foreign investors.
  19. Will investors get any incentives for investing here?
    The investors will have access to the forest sites. Furthermore, the availability of canal water to the forests of the command areas shall be ensured. SPFC will also provide technical support and facilitation regarding law and order. The investors shall be facilitated in getting plants from the forest nurseries. The foreign investors will get 100% capital investment + profit take back guarantee, which is admissible by the federal government to all foreign investors.
  20. Are there any Government of Punjab guarantees to the investors?
    The private sector investment shall be protected through concession agreements/sub-national guarantees covered through Punjab Government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act 2014.
  21. What is SPFC’s stance on planting invasive species?
    SPFC discourages growing invasive species, as it can have adverse impacts on the environment
  22. Can SPFC provide Forest Management Services?
    SPFC has a group of forestry professionals that can provide guidance in the management of forest plantations.
  23. Are the areas assigned to SPFC accessible?
    Yes, almost all the areas assigned to SPFC are accessible through road network.
  24. What will be the lot size allocated to private investors?
    The lot size will be 500 acres minimum and the maximum is 20% of the total land area.
  25. Who will facilitate the water availability?
    SPFC will facilitate that the command areas assigned to SPFC get the sanctioned amount of water.
  26. Who will plant the trees?
    The investor/successful bidder shall be responsible for planting the trees and covering the costs and ongoing maintenance. Generally all work required to establish a forest crop, which includes all paperwork, fencing, drainage, ground preparation, supply of plants and fertilizers, replacement of failures, vegetation control, shaping in the case of broadleaves etc. This will depend on site conditions and specific requirements agreed with SPFC. However investor will neither outsource the assigned land nor allow it to be used for other than forestry purposes.
  27. What kind of job creation is envisaged?
    SPFC’s initiative will produce jobs mostly-related to forestry that will provide livelihoods to the local communities. Approximately 15,000 jobs will be created.
  28. What species of trees will be planted?
    Keeping in view the geographical conditions of the assigned areas, SPFC aims to achieve a predominantly broadleaf forest. The native species include Acacia nilotica (Kikar), Populus euphratica (Bhan), Albizia lebbeck (Siris), Morus alba (Toot), Bombax ceiba (Simul), Salvadora oleoides (Wan), Tamarix aphylla (Frash), Azadirachta indica (Neem), Melia azedarach (Bakain) and Moringa pterygosperma (Sohanjna). The non-invasive species include Dalbergia sissoo (Shisham), Eucalyptus camaldulensis (Sufeda) and Sesbania bispinosa (Jantar).
  29. How many trees will be planted?
    Approximately 88,205,733 will be the number of plants to be planted on the total areas assigned to SPFC (with spacing of 10 X 6 feet). The total number of plants varies from species to species.
    (10 per cent of the total area has been excluded for the construction of boundary roads/cross roads etc.).
  30. When will the tree species be fully grown?
    Trees grow at different rates depending on the species, and the choice of the species depends on the business plan of the investor. For instance, Sesbania aculeate grows in just 18 months, whilst Eucalyptus can be grown and harvested in just 5 years. SPFC will encourage the investor to plant trees in lines, so that they can be managed in the most efficient manner.
    Trees are also planted closely, so that they grow straighter and taller, due to direct competition for light to improve the photosynthesis process. After thinning operations, the lines are less obvious. Increasingly, trees are being planted in curved lines (curvy linear rows) to 'fit' them into the landscape - this breaks up the appearance whilst allowing for easy management.
  31. How many trees will be felled?
    It is necessary to fell trees as part of the management of woodlands/lots and will be done in the form of clear felling. However, in case of medium growing tree species, thinning would also be allowed to remove a proportion of trees, usually those of poorer form or smaller.
  32. How will lots be managed in future?
    The woodlands can be managed for various objectives depending on the site and investor’s business plan. This may include, timber production and other commercial activities, nature conservation, landscape, heritage, along with other opportunities agreed in concession agreement and market appetite. Largely wood will be used for particleboard, furniture, sports, mining industry and fencing products etc. or as per market demand.
  33. What happens to the existing trees?
    The existing tree cover shall remain the property of SPFC, however, it will be managed and conserved by the investors of the assigned area. These trees will provide habitat to local biodiversity and eventually contribute towards the conservation and protection of native flora. These trees will also play an important role in improving the microclimate of the area, eventually mitigating the effects of climate change, and also providing migration corridors for the biodiversity residing in these areas.