Baghel requests for transfer of funds worth Rs 4100 cr

Raipur, Jun 04: In a virtual meeting with Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel today, Union Minister of Mining and Coal Prahlad Joshi appreciated Chhattisgarh for taking prompt initiative on Central Government’s instructions. It was informed in the meeting that Government of India has set the target to allocate mineral blocks through auction, under which a total of 16 new iron ore and limestone deposits will be auctioned in Chhattisgarh in next 2-3 months of the first phase.
Union Minister said that Chhattisgarh is the first state in the country to take initiative for auction of mineral blocks as per the instructions of the Government of India. He congratulated Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and the officials of the Mineral Department for taking this initiative. In the meeting, Chief Minister Baghel has presented a strong front of Chhattisgarh related to
minerals.
Chief Minister Baghel requested Union Minister Mr. Joshi to reserve Bailadila Iron Ore Mine-1 in favor of CMDC to promote iron ore based industrialization in Bastar region and to make iron ore easily available to local iron-ore based industries. Baghel said that industrialization can be a good medium for eradicating the problem of naxalism in Bastar region. Union Minister has assured Baghel of taking necessary initiative in the direction. In the meeting, Chief Minister requested that the Minister in-charge of the district should be allowed to continue as the ex-officio President in the District Mineral Trust (DMF). He said that all the MPs in the committee can be made ex-officio members. At present, he has requested to amend the order of the Ministry of Mines, Government of India to make the District Collector as ex-officio President and all MPs as ex-officio members. Union Minister assured of considering the request.
Union Coal Minister Joshi praised Chhattisgarh for being the first state in the country to take initiative for grade determination of private coal mines and assured that the demand to authorize state government for grade determination in SECL mines will be taken into consideration and positive initiatives will be taken in this regard in the near future. Chief Minister Baghel demanded early transfer of Rs. 4100 cr, the amount recovered from private coal mines operated before the year 2014 as per the order of Supreme Court, to Chhattisgarh Government. Union Minister, while agreeing on this issue, assured to resolve the matter after seeking guidance from the Supreme Court. Chief Minister further said in the meeting that Chhattisgarh is a coal-bearing state, yet the state’s public sector undertaking does not have any coal block. He urged for allotment of Tara coal block in favor of CMDC. He said that in case of non-availability of this block, any coal block from Doresara, Jharpalam, Jarekela in Raigard should be reserved. Union Minister Joshi has directed to send proposal to the Centre for the agency to utilize the funds of NMET for exploration of base metal in Bodal area under Ambagarh outpost of Rajnandgaon.
Chief Minister Baghel also requested to fix the royalty rate of ROM of iron ore separately, considering the evasion and expected impact on the revenue because of the huge variation in the royalty rates of lumps and fine ore from the iron-ore mines in the state. On which Union Minister asked the state to send proposal in the context to the committee constituted for resolution of this subject matter. In the same sequence, State Government has put forth its stand on the proposal of National Mineral Index in place of the average selling price proposed by the Ministry of Mines, in response to which Union Minister assured that before implementing any system, it would be ensured that the State Government does not suffer any loss of revenue.
In this virtual meeting, senior secretaries from Ministry of Coal and Mines, Government of India, and Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Subrat Sahoo, Secretary to Chief Minister Siddharth Komal Singh Pardeshi, Secretary of Mineral Resources Department Anbalgan P. Director Geology and Mining Samir Bishnoi were present, along with other senior departmental officers.

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