Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking an intervention to increase royalty on coal and share at least 60 per cent of Clean Environment Cess to coal bearing states.
Chief Minister said, the coal bearing states has to face the adverse effects of mining and therefore it should have reasonable expectation of adequate revenue contribution from the coal mining sector.
The rate of royalty coal has not been revised since last four years even though the Ministry of Coal has constituted a Study Group to consider revision of rates of royalty on Coal on July 21, 2014.
The Central Government has increased the levy of ‘Clean Environment Cess’ to Rs 400 per ton in the Union Budget 2016-17. But, as the rate of the royalty coal has remain unrevised and the Cess has not been shared with the coal bearing states, they are unable to get benefits from the funds collected as Cess in proportion of their contribution to the Cess.
Patnaik also added, that the Cess should be renamed as ‘Environment and Rehabilitation Cess’ and at least 60 percent of funds should be shared with the coal bearing states to tackle with the consequence of economic activities experienced by the effects of mining such as displacement of people, reduction in forest area, greater risks of environmental pollution and strain on water resources and infrastructure.