Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel writes to Centre over minerals royalty ratesFebruary 6, 2020
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has written to Union minister of coal and mines Pralhad Joshi urging him to revise the royalty rates of major minerals, which have not been changed in the last six years.
In the letter, dated February 5, 2020, Bhupesh Baghel wrote that as per the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, the royalty rates of major minerals should be revised after a period of three years.
Baghel said the royalty rates of major minerals were last revised on September 1, 2014, by the Union ministry of mines. As per the provisions of section of the act, royalty rates were to be revised from September 1, 2017, after a period of three years but nothing has been done till now.
The chief minister claimed that Chhattisgarh is losing its mineral revenue since the royalty has not increased and that is an important source of revenue for the state government.
“The revenue receipts are being adversely affected due to non-revision of the royalty rates of major minerals by the government of India,” the letter stated.
Alok Shukla, a social activist working in mining areas of Chhattisgarh, said the demand to increase the royalty is legitimate and the Centre should increase it.
But, at the same time, he said the state government should also question the auctions of coal blocks and ignoring the interests of the state in the allocation process.
“The allocation route instead of auction also reduces the revenue of the state. Another important issue is that the allocation and auction of coal blocks in ecologically-sensitive areas like Hasdev should also be opposed by the state government,” Shukla said.
On January 13, the Centre had decided to set up an 11-member panel including mines secretaries from various states, to examine issues pertaining to the revision of rates of royalty for minerals.
The members of the panel include mines secretaries from the states like Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.