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Orissa raises the ante for rent tax on iron ore

The Orissa state cabinet resolved to move the centre to levy mineral resource rent tax on iron ore to be charged at 50% of the surplus rent.

The meeting was presided over by chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik.

It was decided that the tax so collected should come to the state government for improving social and physical infrastructure, strengthen welfare measures besides improving the livelihood of the people of the state.

As far as other minerals like bauxite, chromite, manganese and coal, it was decided that the Steel and Mines Department should examine the potential of revenue from such minerals for the benefit of the people.

The cabinet felt that the state government being the owner of the minerals should have the right to get a fair share of the profits from the extraction of ores for the benefit of the poor in mineral rich states. The insatiable demand for iron ore in the export market in the last few years has resulted in the mineral becoming a profitable commodity with returns being far in excess of economically acceptable rates.

Mr Naveen had written several letters to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in this regard. He also raised the issue in the National Development Council meeting in Delhi on October 22 and National Integration Council meeting there on September 10.

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