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Odisha to get Rs 2 lakh crore from coal auction in 20 years

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

Odisha would get about Rs 2 lakh crore from the auction of coal blocks in the next 15-20 years, Union minister for petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said here.

"Taking the present base rate into account, the state government is likely to get Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh crore from the identified coal block auctions in the next 15-20 years," Pradhan told media persons.

While mineral bearing states will get reserve price from the bidders to be realised by the state government concerned, they will also get royalty and other taxes, he added.

In a recent notification, the Ministry of Coal has earmarked 101 coal blocks for e-auction including 18 blocks in Odisha. Nine out of 18 blocks would be allocated to the government companies and the balance is meant for the private players. Out of the blocks meant for the private players, eight are reserved for the private power producers while only one is earmarked for the non-regulated sectors including steel makers, cement and aluminium. Twenty four coal mines have already been put to e-auction in the first batch.

He said, the eastern state, including Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal which account for most of the 204 coal blocks, will benefit from the auctions.

Anil Swarup , Coal secretary had recently said that the eastern states are likely to gain Rs seven lakh crore from auction and royalty over the next 30 years. Meanwhile reacting to the Odisha government's accusation of Central neglect towards the state, Pradhan said the state government was launching a proxy war against the Government of India.

"Whenever non-Congress parties have come to power at the Centre, especially under the (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee and (Narendra) Modi governments, the state has received maximum fund. The Centre has increased royalty on minerals. Now, Odisha will get benefit from coal auction and my ministry has proposed to invest Rs 1 lakh crore in the state on the petroleum sector in 5-7 years," Pradhan.

He also took swipe at the state government's recent decision to hike VAT (value added tax) on petrol and diesel. The state government had recently hiked VAT on petrol and diesel from 20 per cent to 23 per cent.

Speaking on the proposed visit of national BJP president Amit Shah on January 6-7, the minister said, the party was giving importance on seven states, including Odisha, where the organisational position is not so strong, to strengthen the party from the grassroots level.

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First Published: Sun, December 28 2014. 20:41 IST