Tuesday 20 February 2018

Coalition decides against selling off forestry rights

The government will not be selling off the harvesting rights of Coillte
The government will not be selling off the harvesting rights of Coillte

Fiach Kelly, political correspondent

THE Government has decided against selling off the harvesting rights of Coillte, the State forestry agency.

The announcement was made by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney after a Cabinet meeting today.

The harvesting rights were one of a number State assets slated for privatisation as part of the bailout deal but were not seen as a priority.

However, while Mr Coveney said the “Government decided that now is not the appropriate time to proceed with the sale of harvesting rights in Coillte” it was decided to explore a merger between it and Bord na Mona.

This would allow for a “ beneficial merger…to create a streamlined and refocused commercial state company operating in the bio-energy and forestry sectors, as committed to in the Programme for Government”.

Coillte will be restructured and all options on “maximising its value” will be looked at again once this is finished.

The sale of other State assets will be unaffected by the decision.

Irish Independent

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