Forest tax refund: State seeks stay on HC order

Forest tax refund: State seeks stay on HC order

The State government on Monday urged the Supreme Court to stay a Karnataka High Court order, which held that the state government cannot levy forest development tax (FDT) on mining or quarrying leaseholders in forest areas. The government claimed the HC order to refund Rs 3,460 crore would lead to huge loss for the State.

The order of December 3, 2015 to refund FDT collected by the monitoring committee and remitted to the State government, would cause “financial chaos”, it said.

Besides, the refund order, heavily dependent on the levy, would also affect the National Forest Policy, amelioration of environment, regeneration of ecology and forest, it said.

The HC order is also in contravention of the SC order passed on September 23, 2011 for curbing illegal mining in Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumakuru districts, it said.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and R K Agrawal put the special leave petition filed by the State government for consideration after two weeks. A host of mining companies had filed a caveat before the court.

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