Naveen dashes letter to PM, demands MRRT

Bhubaneswar: Annoyed over the Centre`s "silence" on Odisha`s demand for imposing Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) on iron ore on account of the super normal profit being made by the mine owner, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today shot off the third letter to the Prime Minister on the matter.

"I am unable to understand why the central government has not taken a decision on my proposal, which will be in the larger interest of the community, particularly those residing in mining areas," Patnaik said in a fresh letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today.

Stating that he has been raising the issue since a long time through letters to the Prime Minister and making demands at different meetings, Patnaik argued that the current profit being made in the sector by a few mining companies calls for immediate action by the state. The generated profit or windfall far exceeded the level of investment or risk involved in the activity, he mentioned in the letter, adding that these high profits ran into thousands of cores of rupees, which competed with the annual plan size of Odisha.

"Unfortunately the state gets only a measure amount in terms of royalty while fabulous profits are being made by few private mining companies," the chief minister said. The mineral belongs to Odisha and the state should have the right to get a fair share of profit from extraction of ore for the benefits of the poor people, he said.