Larger consultation needed to decide on coal royalty revision:
    Bhubaneswar, Nov 8 (PTI) Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi
on Friday said there is a need for "larger consultation"
before deciding on the revision of coal royalty, as the matter
is directly linked to power tariff and increase in royalty may
affect electricity consumers across the country.
    After a meeting with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik here, Joshi said the Centre will look at the demand of
the state for upward revision of coal royalty.
    "I have briefed the chief minister about coal royalty
revision. It is linked to power tariff. He has given a
representation. It needs larger consultation because whatever
we apply or decide will be applicable for the entire country,"
he said.
    Many coal bearing states including Odisha have been
demanding revision of coal royalty from the present 14 per
cent to 20 per cent.
    The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation)
Act permits revision of royalty on coal every three years, but
it has remained unchanged for the last six years, Patnaik told
the Union minister during the meeting.
    The chief minister drew Joshi's attention on the fact
that the final recommendation of the study group on coal
royalty revision was still under consideration of the central
government, though it was submitted to it way back on February
5, 2018, sources said.
    Odisha produces about one-fifth of the total coal
production in the country.
    Asked about Odisha's concern of losing a huge amount
due to non-revision of the coal royalty rates, Joshi said, "We
have introduced the DMF four years ago. The state is getting
4.2 per cent on that. I have also brought it to the chief
minister's notice. It is a larger issue for the country."
    The District Mineral Foundation (DMF) is a trust set
up as a non-profit body to work for the interest of people and
areas affected by mining related operations.
    To a question on the lapse of mining leases, Joshi,
also the minister of mines, said the steel industries would
not face any shortage of raw material after March 31, 2020.
    He said steel producers will get raw materials through
PSUs and other sources.
    Some steel makers recently expressed concern over the
possible shortage of raw materials after expiry of leases of
over 300 mines across the country including 24 in Odisha by
end of the current fiscal.
    Joshi and Patnaik also discussed issues such as law
and order problem at mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and
how to increase its production.
    The state government also pointed out that the rate of
clean energy cess, levied on coal by the central government,
has been raised, but the coal bearing states have been getting
royalty at the old rate.
    The Union minister agreed to the need for
comprehensive development of the coal mining areas with a
joint concerted effort, sources said. PTI AAM BDC

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)