Odisha govt asks Centre to revise coal royalty sharing pattern

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government today asked the Centre to revise coal royalty and change in sharing pattern of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to 90:10 from 75:25, official sources said.

The demands were made by state’s Finance Minister S B Behera while participating in the pre-budget consultation meeting convened by the Union Ministry of Finance in New Delhi.

Stating that the royalty on coal was last revised by the Centre in April 2012, Behera said the royalty rate should be revised every three years. Therefore, the coal royalty revision is due for revision since April, 2015.

“The Government of India should revise the royalty on Coal immediately without further delay,” Behera was quoted saying in a statement issued by the state government.

On changing the sharing pattern of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), Behera said as per recommendations of 14th Finance Commission the sharing pattern of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) should be changed from 75:25 to 90:10 once GST is in place.

“As the GST has been implemented from July 1, 2017, the sharing pattern may be changed to 90:10 between Centre and State and Government of India should release the Central Share accordingly,” Behera said.

Behera also demanded Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for the purpose of providing guarantees in respect of borrowers in the farm sector.

Odisha government also asked the Centre to review its decisions for monthly release of tax devolution to states on 15th of every month instead of the 1st working day of every month.

Odisha government also demanded exemption of Income Tax on the interest income of District Mineral Foundations (DMF) from Bank Deposits.

Behera also highlighted the state’s difficulties in going to total financial inclusion in Odisha due to lack of brick and mortar bank branches and lack of connectivity in the State.