Bhubaneswar: State Finance Minister Pradip Amat on Tuesday lambasted Union Coal Minister Anil Swarup’s disapproval of raising state’s coal royalty charges citing his statements as farcical.
Amat shrugged off Union Minister’s comments speaking them as baseless. He said, since Odisha has been demanding for revision of coal royalty for quite some time it is the duty of the Centre to listen to the pleas. “Besides the Union Government should revise the rates on a regular basis,” he added.
State has been the victim of huge losses in terms of deterioration in environmental conditions and other royalty charges so the centre should duly look to revise the royalty rates at the earliest for the betterment of the state, Amat said.
Earlier last week Swarup had a meeting with CM Naveen Patnaik, Chief Secretary, and other department officials.
After the meeting Swarup gave a no to revising coal royalty saying that since it is of national importance it cannot be revised while looking at the interests of a single state. Besides hiking royalty rates would lead to increase in electricity charges and thus adversely affect consumers in general.
These comments by the Union Minister sparked dissent within the state government.