The Indian government has put forward a controversial land leasing scheme which would turn over large tracts of degraded forest (forest with less than 40 percent tree cover) and wasteland to wood-based industries for commercial planting. The government would ask industry to grow forest species on 15-20 percent of the degraded land on lease. The government said reclaiming 5 million hectares of land a year would create jobs for 2.5 million people. With an estimated cost of Rs30,000 for each hectare of land reclaimed, the government believed industry's involvement in the scheme was essential. According to government and industry officials, there was enough degraded land to make timber production sustainable. Biogenetic and technological developments will help India to achieve a more sustainable, balanced forestry policy, by developing species that are more productive, more robust, faster-growing and easier than conventional species to reproduce. The government argues that commercial plantation will thus help to restore environmental and ecological equilibrium.