Centre likely to spurn MRRT idea

Bhubaneswar: The Centre has asked the Naveen Pattanaik government to suggest alternate measures in place of its proposal for imposition of Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) and advocated further study of the proposal already approved by the state cabinet. Between the lines, it indicates that the Centre is in no mood to accept the proposal sent by the state government.

Union minister of state for mines, Dinsha Patel in her reply to Naveen Pattanaik on his request for Centre`s approval for imposition of MRRT has pointed out that it needs to be assessed properly whether there is super profit from iron ore trades in mineral rich states like Odisha having poor infrastructure. The minister has clarified that the study group constituted on royalty on dead rent of which Odisha happens to be a member would also consider the state government`s proposals.

Simultaneously, Dinsha Patel has written that the states could constitute foundations on their own under the proposed Mining and Mineral Regulating (MMR) Bill-2011. Under the said bill, the minister reminded, the mining lease holders would have to deposit an equal amount of royalty to the District Mineral Foundations which could be utilised for the development of mines areas and rehabilitation of displaced families.

The ministry too has suggested several measures to the state government which it said should be implemented for judicious utilisation of natural resources in larger public interest. The ministry feared that the development of the country would be badly hampered due to curtailment of mining activities and hence suggested that scientific study of mineral rich areas and mining work was need of the hour. If need be, the minister suggested, the state government could make a review and fresh assessment of all the mining lease holders.

Chief Minister Naveen Pattanaik had earlier in August and November written letters to the Prime Minister with the proposals to impose MRRT. If anything, Dinsha Patel`s letter is an indication that the Centre would hardly approve Naveen`s proposal.