Govt Pledges Relief Money For Forestry Industry

The Swedish government said it’s to spend 1.2 billion kronor in relief efforts for forest owners who’s property was nearly destroyed by the hurricane strength storm that lashed southern Sweden early last month.

More than 70 million cubic metres of timber was damaged in the storm, worth nearly 17 billion kronor.

Ulrika Messing, the Industry, Employment and Communication minister, said the government will spend 500 million kronor ( US$71 million) on helping forest owners cut up and store the timber, in an effort to save as much of the wood as possible.

Another 400 million kronor will be spent on giving affected forest owners tax relief on the timber sold over the next two years, she said Friday.

The tax on diesel fuel for heavy machinery used in the forests will also be temporarily lowered until the end of 2006, at a cost of 200 million kronor for the government, while tariffs on transporting timber on ships and railways in the area will be cut completely, saving 100 million kronor for the forest industry.