Chhattisgarh has demanded that the Centre transfer the additional levy of Rs 4,140.21 crore collected from coal mines to the state.
In a letter written to union minister of coal and mines, Prahlad Joshi, on Saturday chief minister Bhupesh Baghel sought this money, “Chhattisgarh’s rightful share of additional levy collected from coal miners in the state” to put it to use in containing Covid19.
The state had written a similar letter to the coal ministry at the Centre in January this year seeking what it believes is rightful due to Chhattisgarh.
Baghel’s Congress government had recently also demanded that the steel ministry undertaking, NMDC, pay up its remaining Rs 1000 crore due. The CM has been very vocal about his displeasure with companies operating in his state being asked to donate to the newly funded PM Cares Fund instead of the Chief Minister’s fund.
The addition levy, charged at the of Rs 295 per metric ton, collected from eight companies was needed “for effective implementation of measures being taken to curb the spread of coronavirus amid lockdown,” said the letter shared with the media. The companies are Jayaswal Neco, Jindal Power, Jindal Power and Steel, Monnet Ispat, Sarda Energy, Prakash Industries and Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpat Nigam from coal blocks in the state.
The Centre was collecting this levy under Section 14 (5) of the Coal Mines (Special Provision) Act 2014 read with Rule 18 of the Coal Mines (Special Provision) Rule 2014 which mandates that the additional levy on coal extracted from any Schedule II coal mine shall be deposited by the prior allottee with the central government.
The CM’s letter mentions Supreme Court orders that recognize the state government as the owner of the minerals within its territory and the minerals vested in it to justify this demand.