Odisha dubs Centre`s views as that of mining lobby

Odisha government on Saturday said the view of the Centre on the Mineral Resource Rent Tax(MRRT) issue was a "version of the mining lobby".

Bhubaneswar: Annoyed over Centre`s views
on the state`s demand of imposition of Mineral Resource Rent
Tax (MRRT) on mines owners, Odisha government on Saturday said the
view of the Centre on the issue was a "version of the mining

"The reply of the minister (union minister of state
for mines Dinsha Patel) is nothing but a version of the mining
lobby," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a statement.

Patnaik`s reaction came four days after union mines
minister Dinsha Patel virtually rejected state government`s
demand for imposing MRRT on the mine owners who according to
the chief minister were making "super normal profit."

Stating that the state government has enough data to
justify its claim that mines are making abnormally high
profit, Patnaik said he had written to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh demanding imposition of the MRRT on the line of one
being implemented in Australia, four months ago in August.

While the state government claimed that the mines
owners were making abnormally high profit due to rise in the
price of iron ore in the international market, Patel in his
letter did not accept it.

Admitting that the iron ore price has increased from
USD 69 per ton in April 2007 to USD 145-150/ton in October
2011, Patel in his letter mentioned that the incidental cost
like transportation and handling charges have also increased
in the country during the same time.

Therefore, Patel on January 3 letter to the chief
minister had observed that a "closer look" was required by the
study group on royalty and dead rent set up recently where
Odisha government was also a member.