Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr. I. Alizadeh / Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan has not sold even an inch of forests, the Minister, Hseyngulu Bahirov said on 18 May. He was commenting on accusations voiced against the Ministry at the meeting of the Permanent Parliamentary Commission on Agriculture Policy.
According to Bahirov, on the contrary the Ministry has submitted over 300 cases regarding illegal occupation of forest territories so far.
The Minister reported that the Azerbaijani legislation does not allow sale of forest resources. In accordance with the legislation the ministry allotted 70,000 hectares of lands covered by forest to municipalities. Instead, it obtained municipal lands not covered by forests.
"The Ministry is not responsible for sale of the forest strips allotted to the municipalities," Bahirov noted. He added that people who accuse the Ministry are the directors of the corresponding trade organizations who are trying to satisfy their own interests.
He noted that the ministry stuck to neutral position as to adoption of the Law on Sate Lands. "The ministry can provide and not provide an expert judgment on any law. The adoption of laws is the authority of the parliament. From the other hand, if the judgment of an expert does not suit MPs it is not the reason to put the activities of the ministry under doubt," Bahirov said.
During the meeting of the permanent parliamentary commission on agriculture policy held a few days ago several MPs accused the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of illegal sale of forest zones.