Odisha Reiterates Coal Royalty Demand, Centre Says It’s ‘Unlikely’

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Bhubaneswar: Union Coal and Mines Minister Prahlad Joshi on Friday said that it will be difficult to consider the Odisha government’s demand for revision of coal royalty since it is linked to power tariff.

During their meeting at Lok Seva Bhawan here, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reiterated the state’s demands for an increase in the rates of royalty and a share from the cess collected on coal by the Centre.

“I have briefed the Chief Minister that it is linked to power tariff. It’s a larger policy decision since whatever decision is taken it will be applicable to the entire country. Nevertheless, I will look into it,” Joshi told mediapersons here.

Increasing the production at Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), land issues and law and order problems at the coal site were also discussed in the meeting against the backdrop of frequent agitations and strikes that had severely affected coal production in Talcher and IB Valley areas of MCL, in the recent past.

Naveen also urged Joshi to denotify non coal bearing areas and urged him to direct MCL to take up comprehensive development in notified areas.

“Quick implementation of the decisions of the RPDAC by the MCL authorities was stressed in the meeting. The Union minister agreed to the need for comprehensive development of the coal mining areas with a joint concerted effort. Law and Order and R&R issues of Coal mining areas were also discussed in the meeting,” a notification from the Chief Minister’s Office said.

The state government also requested for transferring a coal mine allocated to Odisha Mining Corporation (MOC) to Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Limited (OTPCL), sources said.

On lapse of mining leases of over 300 mines by March 31, 2020, the Union Minister said that there would no shortage of minerals for the industries in the country and his government would ensure that through Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and some other arrangements.

 

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