Chhatisgarh CM reminds Centre of ₹1000 cr penalty on NMDC after it donates ₹150 cr to PM Cares
The NMDC had been ordered to pay ₹1,623 cr to the Chhattisgarh government by the Supreme Court in 2014. It has paid ₹600 cr so far.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has asked Union steel minister, Dharmendra Pradhan to instruct the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) Ltd to release a pending penalty of ₹1,000 crore to the state, more than a month after the PSU donate ₹150 crore to the PM Cares fund to fight Covid-19.
In a letter to Pradhan on May 4, the CM said the NMDC had to pay ₹1,623 crore to the Chhattisgarh government following the Supreme Court order in 2014 order as penalty for violations. The SC order was not challenged by NMDC, which so far, paid ₹600 crore to the state government.
“When the entire country was facing an acute shortage of iron ore due to en masse lapsing of missing leases elsewhere in the country, NMDC did not face any problem in Chhattisgarh. Even today, those mining leases have not been operationalized in favour of NMDC in many states. But, in Chhattisgarh, we have been very cooperative and all the mining leases of NMDC have been extended within time and mines are operational without any hindrance,” the letter said.
The CM also questioned why the NMDC pledged CSR funds to the PM Cares fund.
“NMDC has not been keeping up with its commitments given to the state government for more than one occasion…NMDC has diverted the rightful CSR funds of people of Chhattisgarh to the newly created PM Cares fund and has not paid the penalty amount in full to the state government,” the letter read.
The CM in his lRaipuretter said that it is important for a PSU like NMDC to act more responsibly during such a crisis.
“I expect that government of India should not be a mute spectator and instruct NMDC to act in a duty bound manner and make the payments to the state government at the earliest,” the letter said, while asking NMDC to “win over the hearts of people of Chhattisgarh” by standing up with them.
“We have been active in containing the spread of Covid-19. In this crisis situation, the state government needs financial resources and people of Chhattisgarh are looking for their legitimate resources to come during these hours of crisis,” the CM said while asking Pradhan to facilitate the release of the pending ₹1,000 crore.
Reacting to the letter, NMDC spokesperson Jay Prakash said: “NMDC has excellent relations with Chhattisgarh government and we are sure all issues will be amicably resolved, safeguarding the interests of Chhattisgarh state and NMDC.”