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CM asks Centre to pay dues of Rs 1.36 lakh Cr for mining in Jharkhand 

Ranchi, March 26: Hitting out at the Centre over the dues pending from coal PSUs, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday said the state was going through a economic crisis, and the BJP-led Union government, despite being told about it, was doing anything to facilitate the clearance.

In  a letter written on March 2, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren asked the Centre to clear its dues of Rs 1.36 lakh crore for mining by public sector undertakings (PSUs) in the state.

He tweeted the letter on Saturday with the caption, “In spite of repeated consultations held with the Coal Ministry and Niti Aayog regarding non-payment of long-standing legitimate dues of Rs 1.36 lakh crore related to mining done by central PSUs (public sector undertakings), government of India has paid no heed so far. I have written to [coal minister] Pralhad Joshi ji in this regard.”

Soren said that non-payment of Rs 1.36 lakh crore by the coal companies was impacting the socio-economic development projects in the fund-starved state.

“Despite repeated consultations with the Coal Ministry and NITI Aayog over the issue of non-payment of long-standing legitimate dues of Rs 1.36 lakh crore for the mining done by central PSUs, the Union government has paid no heed to the matter so far,” Soren said.

Raising the issue in Assembly on Friday, Soren had warned that Jharkhand would stop coal supply if the companies do not clear the dues they owe to the state.

“This is the state’s right and we will take it at any cost. If we are not given our due, we may block supply of coal and minerals from the state,” the CM had said. During the day, he tweeted a copy of the letter he sent to Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi, highlighting the matter.

“State of Jharkhand is facing a huge economic crisis, which is impacting the socio-economic development project and schemes… Therefore, your kind intervention is required for instructing the coal companies to pay their dues,” he said in the letter.

Last year, during an Assembly session in September, the CM had said that the state could stop work being carried out by Coal India if it failed to make the payment.

In the letter to Joshi, he further pointed out, “Jharkhand is a mineral-rich state and proceedings from coal is the main contributor (80 per cent) to its exchequer.” ­

In the letter, Hemant Soren said, “Coal companies are not paying legitimate demand of revenue to the state, resulting in huge dues to the state from these companies.” A large part of coal mining in Jharkhand is done by a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd.

He also highlighted the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, as per which royalty is chargeable for mining in a leased area.

“In spite of provision in the law and judicial pronouncements made therein, coal companies are not paying royalty on washed coal resulting in huge pending of demand,” Hemant Soren wrote.

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