Bhubaneswar: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Prasanna Acharya Monday urged the Union government to revise the coal royalty and also sought an exemption of income tax on the interest accrued on the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, the BJD MP said that there are a few coal-bearing states in the country like Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and others that contribute around 80 per cent of the total coal production of the country and stressed that the Union has not revised the coal royalty since 2012 despite those states being high contributors.
“The coal-bearing states bear the brunt of adverse effects of such mining on their environment. Also, coal mines put a strain on the water resources. As per the MMDR Act, royalty has to be paid to the coal-bearing states for every tonne of coal produced. That also needs to be revised every three years. But, since 2012, the Central Government has not revised the coal royalty rates. We are now in 2020 and all coal-bearing states are suffering heavy financial losses on account of that,” said Acharya.
He added that the Odisha government has been repeatedly requesting the Centre to apportion a fair share of the cess collected to the state concerned but there is no response from the Central government yet. Acharya also requested the Union government to at least exempt the state from the imposition of income tax on the interest that is accrued on the DMF fund citing that all these funds are utilised by the coal-bearing states for development work in the aforesaid mining areas.