Sail urges Odisha govt to allow its mines to operate

Bhubaneswar: Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) on Monday requested Odisha government not to shut down its mines, operating under deemed extension provision, in the event of non-payment of stamp duty.

The request was made by SAIL chairman C S Verma who met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Monday.

"The state government should take a liberal view in the matter," Verma told reporters after the meeting.

SAIL has three iron ore mines at Bolani, Barsuan and Kalta in the state.

Odisha government in its July 3 order had asked the district collectors to stop the operations of mines working under deemed extension provision in case the miners fail to pay stamp duty by July 9.

Stating that SAIL is studying the financial implications of the order, Verma said stamp duty rates vary from state to state. "Our company will request the state government to allow the mines to continue operations under deemed extension," he said.

The state government order stipulates that mines working deemed extension have to pay stamp duty even if their leases are not renewed as they have been excavating minerals.

Replying another question, Verma said he expects SAIL to start operation of its biggest blast furnace (4016 cubic metres) at its unit – Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) within 10 days.