Raipur: Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghe today had a meeting with Union Minister of Coal and Mines Mr. Prahlad Joshi at CM House, wherein detailed discussion on various issues related to coal production and mines in Chhattisgarh was held. In the meeting, Chief Minister proposed that the coal mines in dense forest areas and elephant corridor should be kept separate from the upcoming auction of coal blocks, and in place of these mines, other coal areas in the state should be marked. Union Minister Mr. Joshi gave consent on Chief Minister’s aforementioned proposal.
Chief Minister demanded that the additional levy of Rs 4140 which was deposited by industrialists to Central Government as per the instructions of Supreme Court before 2014, should be transferred to the State. Union Minister agreed to the demand saying that the Central Government has filed application at Supreme Court for disposal of the aforementioned amount, based on which decision will be taken soon.
In the meeting, Chief Minister also demanded transfer of the penalty amount of Rs 10 thousand 129 crore to the State, based on Supreme Court’s decision in common cause case. Mr. Baghel also made following demands in the meeting with Union Coal Minister- issue of guidelines for SECL to increase production in Gare Pelma mines immediately, utilization of water logged in coal mines for safe-drinking water supply and irrigation, return of land to State Government after completion of mining process, and immediate action on the mines of SECL that have been shut down for proper disposal of fly ash. On this, Union Minister gave consent for formation of joint team of CMPDIL, SECL and State officials.
Chief Minister further requested that with approval of Chairman Coal India on the proposal to provide coal to local small-scale industries of Chhattisgarh as per the requirement, State Government should be appointed as agency for this purpose.
While discussing the topics related to the Union Government’s Ministry of Coal and Mines, State Government requested for amendment in the royalty rates of iron ore. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghe said that under National Exploration Mineral Trust (NMET) item, Chhattisgarh has deposited about 300 crores with the Central Government. Mr. Baghel drew the attention of the Union Minister towards simplification of rules for the use of this amount and for authorizing the State Governments to select minerals for mineral exploration. Union Minister Joshi agreed to the demands. In a presentation given by the Secretary of Ministry of Coal, Government of India, it was informed that despite the reserves of about 150 billion tonnes of coal in India, coal is being imported to the country from Australia, Indonesia and other countries. Therefore, there is a need to make India self-sufficient in the matter of coal by properly planning for adequate exploitation of the coal available in the country.
In the meeting, Secretary, Ministry of Coal Mr. Anil Kumar Jain, Chairman of Coal India Limited Mr. Pramod Aggarwal, SECL CMD Mr. A. P. Panda, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Subrata Sahu, Principal Secretary Forest Mr. Manoj Pingua, Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. Siddharth Komal Pardeshi, Secretary of Mineral Department Mr. Anbalagan P., PCCF Mr. Rakesh Chaturvedi and Director Mineralogy Mr. Sameer Vishnoi along with the senior officials of Central and State Government were also present.