BHUBANESWAR: There is a need for larger consultation on the issue of upward revision of coal royalty as the matter is directly linked to power tariff and an increase in royalty may affect electricity consumers across the country, said Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi on Friday.
The demand for upward revision of coal royalty was raised by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his meeting with Joshi at Lok Seva Bhavan here. After the meeting, Joshi said the Centre will look into the State’s demand. “I have briefed the Chief Minister about coal royalty revision. It is linked to power tariff. He has given a representation. It needs larger consultation because whatever we decide will be applicable for the entire country,” he said.
Sources said Naveen told Joshi that though the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act allows revision of royalty on coal every three years, it has remained unchanged for the last six years. Naveen said no decision has so far been taken on the final recommendation of the study group on coal royalty revision submitted to the Centre on February 5, 2018.Many coal-bearing states, including Odisha, have been demanding revision of coal royalty from the present 14 per cent to 20 per cent. Odisha produces about one-fifth of the total coal production in the country.
Asked about Odisha’s concern of losing a huge amount due to non-revision of coal royalty rates, Joshi said, “We have introduced DMF four years ago. The State is getting 4.2 per cent on that. I have also brought it to the Chief Minister’s notice. It is a larger issue for the country.” On the lapse of mining leases, Joshi said steel industries would not face any shortage of raw material after March 31, 2020. He said steel producers will get raw materials through PSUs and other sources.
Other issues including law and order problem at the mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and measures to be taken for increase of coal production were discussed at the meeting. The State Government also raised the demand for a share on the clean energy cess on coal levied by the Centre.
Quick implementation of the decisions of Rehabilitation and Periphery Development Advisory Committees (RPDAC) by MCL authorities was stressed at the meeting. The Union Minister agreed to the need for comprehensive development of the coal mining areas with a joint concerted effort.