The state government may take a decision soon about charging interest on mining dues paid belatedly, after the Accountant General (AG) office in the state has sought an early reply from the government in this regard.
Earlier this month, the AG asked the Department of Steel and Mines to send a reply mentioning the government view on the matter, which will be included in the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report for the financial year of 2012-13. The AG had first asked for the department's view in March also.
“I shall be grateful if you could get the factual position mentioned in the draft paragraph (on non-levying of interest) verified and communicate your confirmation thereon within six weeks from the date of receipt of this letter,” the letter dated May 3, 2012 from the AG office said.
As per the amended version of Mineral Concession Rules (MCR), 1960, the government can charge simple interest of 24 per cent from two months after the expiry day of due date till the delayed payment date.
The auditing authority, during cross checking assessment files, monthly due returns of royalty, dead rent, surface rent and treasury challans found that 34 licensees from Baripada, Joda, Koira, Koraput, Phulbani, Samblapur and Talcher mining circle had paid their mining dues belatedly. The dues meant for the period from January 15, 2005 to January 15, 2011 were paid between May 2009 and August 2011. The dues paid belatedly totaled to Rs 27.09 crore for all the 34 licensee and the interest amount worked out for the defaulted period totaled Rs 1.51 crore, the AG cited in his report and sought to know why it has not been levied on the licensees.