Centre assures Odisha help on mining, steel and labour

The Centre on Wednesday assured the Odisha government that it will support the state government's efforts to streamline mining, steel, and labour and employment sectors.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 27, 2014, 15:46 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: The Centre on Wednesday assured the Odisha government that it will support the state government's efforts to streamline mining, steel, and labour and employment sectors.

"The Centre will provide all support for the progress of Odisha, particularly in steel, mining, labour and employment sectors," Union Minister for Mines, Steel, Labour and Employment Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.

Describing his discussion, which lasted for over one hour at the state secretariat, as "useful", Tomar said "we talked on different issues relating to mining, steel, and labour and employment sectors. Some decisions have been taken. You can see their implementation soon."

The issues relating to provision of Khandadhar iron ore reserve in favour of Posco, bauxite supply to Vedanta's refinery at Lanjigarh, pending forest and environment clearance of different mines, were thoroughly discussed, officials from the Chief Minister's Office said.

Union Mines secretary and other officials of the ministry also had discussion with Odisha Chief Secretary GC Pati and Steel and Mines department officials.

"The Union minister has assured the state government to expedite pending forest and environment clearances for different mines," Odisha's Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick told reporters.

Stating that the state government drew Tomar's attention on Odisha's demand of arrears after revision of royalty during discussion, Mallick said "The Centre was considering whether it can implement royalty revision retrospectively."

Asked about Odisha's demand of imposing Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) on the windfall profit being made by mines owners, Mallick said, "The Centre has assured us to consider the proposal of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard."

Mallick also revealed that the Centre has assured the state to expedite Posco project.