Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday pinned hopes that the VAT dispute between the Odisha government and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) pertaining to latter’s refinery project in Paradip is settled amicably through mutual discussions.
Urging the Odisha government to keep interests of the people of the State in mind, Pradhan said he believes that the matter can be resolved through discussions.
“The Orissa High Court after examining the arguments of both the parties observed that the working committee set up by the central government should look into the matter once again to find a possible way out. Hence, I feel in a democracy no matter is out of bounds to discuss upon. We all including IOCL should work towards finding a solution, keeping in mind the interests of the people of Odisha,” said Pradhan.
Notably, on February 16, 2004, the State government and IOCL had signed a MoU for Paradeep Refinery in which the former had agreed to defer collection VAT on all output from the refinery during the first 11 years of the commencement of the unit. Moreover, the VAT for the concerned period will be treated as loan and IOCL had to start paying VAT from 12th year onwards.
The State government issued notice to IOCL, citing that the refinery owes Rs 1,485 crore for the period beginning with the operationalisation of the refinery in 2015 till December 2016.
However, later the Orissa High Court ordered the Odisha government to keep in abeyance the demand notice that it had issued to Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) to recover pending taxes to the tune of Rs 1,485 cr.