Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 28:
The Odisha government has been consistently demanding revision of mineral royalty as it claims it is losing Rs five crore each day due to the delay in revision of royalty. But it has been lackadaisical in collecting the mining revenue due to it and has lost Rs 273.23 crore due to its faulty assessment resulting in short levy of royalty.
“During scrutiny of assessment records, Audit noticed that the steel and mines department worked out royalty taking into account average value of minerals adopting it as average sale price of mineral though the same was not published by IBM up to January 2011. It did not add 20 per cent to the average value published by the IBM to arrive at the sale price for working out the royalty. This resulted in short levy of royalty of Rs 273.23 crore in 33 cases under four Circles involving iron, chromite and manganese mineral,” the CAG pointed out in its report placed in the Assembly yesterday.
After audit pointed it out, DMO instructed (December 2013) concerned Circle Offices to re-assess the cases by adding 20 per cent to the average value published by IBM. However, the government, in its reply (January 2014), stated that the levy was as per the price published by IBM and IBM had clarified that there was no difference between “average value” published from 10 December 2009 to January 2011 and “average sale price” published thereafter.
However, as per amended guidelines of the Ministry of Mines, Government of India issued on 10 December 2009, sale price of minerals was to be published by IBM by calculating from the weighted average price per tonne of Pit Mouth Value of mineral, but IBM had not done so.