*Representational Picture

By using the floor of the Rajya Sabha,questioning validity of the royalty on coal and demanding to raise its amount,Biju Janata Dal MP Amar Patnaik has earned accolades in Jharkhand.

'This has been an old demand of all coal carrying states in the country.Patnaikji did a good job.If the Centre accepts this demand,all coal producing states will benefit from it",opines Sudhir Pant,a retired officer of the CIL,echoing the sentiments of many state government officials associated with coal industry. 

In fact, during the Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha on Monday,BJD MP Patnaik said the rate of royalty paid to state governments on coal produced in states was last changed in April 2012 and as per rule was due to be revised in April 2015 but was not done.

The issue was placed before the GST Council but is yet to be approved,Patnaik said.Instead a cess was imposed which goes to indivisible pool that is not devolved to states,added Patnaik.Now,the reply of the coal minister was awaited. 

He demanded that royalty on coal should be raised to 20 per cent from the current 12 per cent. 

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