Odisha’s plea for coal royalty hike rejected

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Odisha’s plea for coal royalty hike rejected

Thursday, 22 July 2021 | PNS | NEW DELHI

The Union Government once again made it clear that it is not going to increase the coal royalty, for which the Odisha Government has been fighting for a long period. Union Coal and Mines Minister Prahlad Joshi has informed this in the Rajya Sabha on Monday in a reply to a question raised by senior BJD MP Prasanna Acharya.

For the revision of the rates of royalty on coal and lignite, the Centre had constituted a Study Group on July 21, 2014 for the purpose of examining the issue of revision of present royalty rates on coal and lignite, Joshi said. “The Study Group decides the formula after considering various factors. The Study Group had submitted its report suggesting no change in the rates of royalty. The suggestion was accepted by the Government,” the Union Minister said. The Odisha Government has received Rs 1,855.11 crore from coal royalty during Financial Year 2020-21, he informed. Presently, the rate of royalty on coal is 14% (except the State of West Bengal). In case of West Bengal Royalty rates are fixed in the range from Rs 7 to Rs 2.5 per tonne. The royalty was last revised on May 10, 2012.

The Union Minister also informed Acharya that there is no mandatory provision in the Act to revise the rates of royalty every three years. “The proviso of Section 9(3) of the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, provides that the Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, amend the second schedule (which specifies rates of royalty) so as to enhance or reduce the rate at which royalty shall be payable in respect of any mineral with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification, provided that the Central Government shall not enhance the rate of royalty in respect of any mineral more than once during any period of three year,” he said quoting the provision of existing Act.The BJD Government has been fighting for revision of coal royalty since the Modi Government came to power. However, now it is yet again rejected by the Centre.       PNS                       

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