New system for assessing coal royalty likely

Bhubaneswar: The state government on Tuesday claimed that the Centre had agreed to consider the state`s suggestion to put in place a new system for assessing royalty on coal on ad-valorem basis after due consultation with all stakeholders.

This was stated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on his return to the state capital a day after meeting Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath in New Delhi.

During his meeting with the Union Coal minister, Patnaik had yesterday stressed on the need to replace the existing system for calculating royalty on coal by putting in place a new system of assessing royalty on ad-valorem basis at the rate of 20 per cent of the market price.

Patnaik said the centre has also agreed to pursue categorisation of Manoharpur and Dip Side coal block in Ib Valley allocated to Orissa Power Generation Corporation in to "Go" category."

On the state government`s concern over the large scale allocation of coal blocks by the Centre, Patnaik said that Jaiswal agreed to consider recommendations of the state level committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary for orderly development of coal blocks, keeping in view the concerns of large scale land acquisition, human displacement and environment.

"Jaiswal also agreed to set up a Zonal Office of the Coal Controller`s Organisation in Orissa at the earliest," he said.

On his meeting with Kamal Nath, the chief minister said that the Centre has agreed to work out appropriate policy on one-time incentive to large villages for facilitating urbanisation.

"The Centre has also agreed to establish an institute of urban management and governance or alternatively open a branch of national institute of urban affairs for capacity building in the state," he said.