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Government should not “hoard” mines and create artificial scarcity: Naveen Jindal

Government should not Kolkata:Jindal Steeland Power Ltd ChairmanNaveen Jindalon Wednesday said the Union government should not “hoard”minesand create artificial scarcity, putting up only a few blocks for auction. He said India being a very competitive market, such scarcity leads to intense bidding and unsustainable valuation.

“Government has taken care of a lot of challenges, and commercial mining was a bold move… It should help the sector… But, the government cannot hoard blocks and create artificial scarcity,” Jindal said at the Bengal Chamber of Commerce-organised virtual mining conclave.

“Royalty and taxes are the highest here in the world. Royalties are also not GST-compliant, and even coal cess of Rs 400 per tonne cannot be adjusted as input cost,” he said.

In June, Prime MinisterNarendra Modihad launched the auction process for 41 coal blocks for commercial mining.

“Out of 38 mines put on auction, 19 mines were successfully auctioned. The success of the auction is 50 per cent,” Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi had said last month.

Jindal also said coal availability should improve and imports come down over the next five-ten years due to commercial mining.

He also lauded Coal India and other miners for maintaining production during the coronavirus-induced lockdown period.

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