Centre did not allow auction of coal block, says Patnaik

Adding a new twist to the ongoing controversy over allocation of coal blocks, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday insisted that his government had been asking for an auction-based allocation of all mineral resources, including coal which was not done by the Centre. 

He was reacting to Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal’s reported remark in New Delhi that the bidding process for coal block allocation could not be implemented due to stringent opposition from five coal rich states including Odisha.

“Coal is a subject on which the Central government has complete authority. Our government has been asking for an auction-based system for allocation of mineral resources including coal for the last few years. While the Centre has done it for coal recently, it is yet to do it for other minerals”, Patnaik said in a statement.

Patnaik who also head the ruling BJD government went on to add that though he had also been demanding for implementation of a mineral rent resources tax on private mine owners, the Centre had repeatedly rejected it. 

“I have been demanding for mineral rent resource tax on the super normal profits made by private iron ore mines. This has been rejected by the Centre on extremely filmsy grounds.

This itself shows the attitude of the Central government,” the chief minister said adding that his government had always stood for value addition within the state which means more jobs for local people and more revenue for the development programmes of the state government.

Comments (+)