Indian Chamber of Commerce has urged the government to allow deferring payment of mining levies for the next 3 months – upto June 30, 2020, in view of the lockdown to prevent spread of COVID-19.
In a statement issued on Friday, ICC requested the Finance minister to “allow deferring of payments of mining levies, namely Royalty and the contributions towards District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) for the period upto 30th June 2020 – for the next 3 months.”
On behalf of the mining industry, ICC also requested the FM “to provide extension of the validity of current approved plans by 3 months.”
Many mines have their mining plans expiring on 31st March 2020. However, due to lockdown and closure of regional offices of Indian Bureau of Mines, the mining plans have not been approved in many cases, it said. The chamber has also sought waiver of the GST compensation cess on coal.
Coal is a key raw material for steel making and combined with iron ore, it accounts for nearly 64% in the cost of production of steel. In India, the Steel and Sponge Iron industry is totally dependent on imported thermal coal from South Africa. The Indian Sponge Iron producers and steelmakers have no other option to import at the high prices.
“In this situation, we request that the GST compensation is waived off to give some relief to the producers and also request the government to grant some financial help,” the statement added. It has also requested for a
50% reduction in tariffs of facilities such as water, electricity etc., besides reasonable interest subsidy on working capital.