Centre rejects Odisha’s demand for coal royalty hike

Bhubaneswar: Rejecting Odisha demand for a hike in coal royalty, the Center today said that there will be no increase in the royalty in the current situation.

Briefing media persons after a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat here, Union Coal secretary Anil Swarup said that to increase royalty on a natural resource is a national decision and it is not changed as per a state’s requirements.

The Union secretary said that an increase in coal royalty will result in an increase in input cost for the power sector which will subsequently put a burden on the consumer in the form of increased electricity tariffs.

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“It applies to all the States and not merely to the State government. We believe that the royalty rates at this point in time are quite okay. Any increase in rates of royalty will lead to an increase in the cost of coal and that will lead to increase in cost of power. So, ultimately it will impact the common man and hence at this point in time there is no consideration before the government of India to increase the royalty,” Swarup said.

Notably, Naveen Patnaik had written a letter to the Central government seeking a hike in royalty for coal. Moreover, the Odisha CM had also met the Union Finance minister and demanded the same.

On the other hand, Odisha mines minister Prafulla Mallick has said that the center should reconsider and take a call on increasing the royalty rates.

“The royalty should have been increased in 2015. It is already late by 1 year. At least the central government should think of ways to subside, if it is not prepared to increase the royalty rates,” said Prafulla Mallick.

Notably, as per guidelines royalty should be increased once in 3 years. Coal royalty was last revised in the year 2012.

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