Petitions filed in HC over amended stamp duty order

Cuttack:  A day after Tata Steel Ltd moved Orissa High Court, mining lobby body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) and PSUs like Steel Authority of India Ltd, (SAIL), Mahanandi Coalfield Ltd (MCL) filed petitions today in High Court praying for the annulment of amended stamp duty order of State government. Hearing of these petitions is likely to be held tomorrow, sources said.
The state government on July 3 directed the miners, who were continuing operation under deemed extended clause without paying stamp duty, to halt mining after July 9, if they fail to pay the duties by that time.
The orders sent jitters among the big miners, who are operating their mines under deemed extension clause. The PSUs including SAIL, MCL, Nalco will also be affected by the order as they are operating mines under deemed extension clause.
The State government on May 21, 2013 issued notification on amendment to stamp duty act, named as Indian Stamp (Odisha Amendment) Act, 2013. The revised act said, miners have to pay stamp duty from the expiry date of mines lease even if the lease is not renewed.
The stamp duty rate is equivalent to 15 per cent of the total royalty paid by the miner. The amount will be deducted at the time of execution of lease agreement. Similarly, if the renewal of mines lease is rejected, then the government has to refund the amount, the new law said.