Economic Undertakings

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

Ranchi, March 26: Speaking at the Center on PSU Coal PSU Dues, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said on Saturday that the state was going through an economic crisis and the Union government led by the BJP, despite being informed of it, was doing anything to facilitate customs clearance.

In a letter written on March 2, the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren, asked the Center to clear its Rs 1.36 lakh crore rights for mining by public sector enterprises (PSUs) of the ‘State.

He tweeted the letter on Saturday with the caption: “Despite repeated consultations held with the Ministry of Coal and Niti Aayog regarding the non-payment of longstanding legitimate dues of Rs 1.36 lakh crore related to mining carried out by the central PSUs (public sector enterprises) the Indian government has not paid attention so far.i wrote to [coal minister] Pralhad Joshi ji in this regard.

Soren said non-payment of Rs 1.36 lakh crore by coal companies is impacting socio-economic development projects in the cash-strapped state.

“Despite repeated consultations with the Ministry of Coal and NITI Aayog on the issue of non-payment of the longstanding legitimate dues of Rs 1.36 lakh crore for mining carried out by the Central PSUs, the Union Government didn’t pay attention to the matter until now,” Soren said.

Raising the issue in the Assembly on Friday, Soren had warned that Jharkhand would cut off coal supply if companies failed to pay the dues they owed the state.

“It is state law and we will take it at all costs. If we do not receive our due, we could block the supply of coal and minerals to 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 issue.

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

Last year, during a session of the Assembly in September, the CM said that the state could stop the work carried out by Coal India if it did not pay.

In the letter to Joshi, he further pointed out that “Jharkhand is a mineral-rich state and coal is the major contributor (80%) to its state treasury.”

In the letter, Hemant Soren said, “The coal companies are not paying the legitimate claim of revenue to the state, resulting in huge sums to the state from these companies.” Much of the coal mining in Jharkhand is carried out by a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd.

He also pointed to the Mineral Lease Rules, 1960, under which royalty is payable for mining in a leased area.

“Despite the provisions of the law and the court pronouncements therein, coal companies are not paying royalties on washed coal, resulting in huge pending demand,” Hemant Soren wrote.