Mining industry seeks sops as demand dips

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 03, 2020

The mining industry has urged the government to defer the payment of mining levies and extend the validity of mining plans that expired in March in view of the nationwide lockdown.

In an appeal to the government, the Indian Chamber of Commerce said the offtake of mined minerals has been low in view of the lockdown to contain the Covid spread. In order to tide over the situation, miners should be allowed to defer payment of mining levies such as royalty and the contributions to District Mineral Foundation and National Mineral Exploration Trust up to June 30.

Moreover, it said, many mining plans expired in March and miners have submitted fresh plans for approval. However, due to the lockdown and closure of regional offices of the Indian Bureau of Mines, the mining plans have not been approved. ICC wants extension of the validity of current approved plans by three months.

The industry body has also urged the government to waive the GST compensation cess on thermal coal as the steel and sponge iron industry is totally dependant on shipments from South Africa.

A reasonable interest subsidy on the working capital should be allowed for the steel industry as it is allowed to continue production even during the lockdown period, ICC said.

The Central government should consider devising a comprehensive financial package for the revival of the steel industry in the post-Covid scenario in terms of tax concessions for the companies. This is crucial for steel units in the small and medium sector located in West Bengal because the State government has no incentive policy for the industries, said Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Published on April 03, 2020

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