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Govt not keen to collect Rs 27 Cr royalty dues on Bhushan Steel, HC told


OST Bureau

Cuttack, Jan 15:

The state government is not taking necessary steps for realisation of the over Rs 27 crore that the

Bhushan steel plant in Dhenkanal district owes to it towards royalty, an affidavit filed in the Odisha High court by social activist and journalist Purna Chandra Sahoo of Angul said on Monday. Since the High Court has issued a stay order on the matter, Bhushan authorities have not deposited the amount towards royalty. However, the Revenue secretary had written a letter to the advocate general’s office in 2012 to take necessary steps to vacate the stay order. No steps have been taken in this regard till date, the petitioner has said in the affidavit.

It may be mentioned here that the Dhenkanal collector had served a notice to Bhushan steel plant in 2009 for payment of Rs 17, 02, 31,222 as royalty towards the extraction and use of minor minerals. Bhushan Steel authorities had then knocked the doors of the High Court instead of paying the royalty.

On Augustr 17, 2009, the Court had had granted an interim stay on the collection of royalty. On the other hand, petitioner Sahoo had filed an intervention petition in the High Court in 2011 seeking to be made a party in the case.

Sahoo had prayed for quashing of Bhushan Steel’s petition citing loss of revenue to the government as Bhushan steel was not paying the royalty amount. The revenue secretary, Dhenkanal collector, Dhenkanal tehsildar, sub-collector Hindol and tehsildar Hindol, among others, were made parties in the case. The Court, while admitting the petition, allowed Sahoo to be made a party in the case.

However, Bhushan Steel has used the stay not to pay the royalty as a result of which the royalty outstanding against Bhushan Steel has compounded to Rs 27, 34, 53,620.  In 2012, Revenue Secretary Dr Tara Dutt had written to the Advocate General to take appropriate legal steps for vacating the stay order as it was causing immense revenue lost to the state exchequer. Petitioner Sahoo has filed the affidavit in the High Court pointing out that no move had been initiated by the government in this regard.