The state government has asked the cement companies to pay Rs 614 crore and sought response from them for using illegally mined coal and evading tax.
Though the show-cause notice was issued to the cement plants early part of this year, they are yet to reply and hence a reminder was sent to the plants, an official said on Thursday.
Earlier, the NGT committee headed by BP Katakey had revealed illegal practice by the cement companies.
A senior official with the mining and geology department said that there is a need to take action against the cement plants as per the NGT direction.
According to the report of the NGT, since the cement factories and power plants had used illegally mined coal, they had evaded over Rs 423 crore as royalty and VAT/GST.
The report was submitted to the NGT principal bench in December 2019.
The report said that no royalty and taxes have been paid to the state on the illegally mined coal utilised by the cement plants and thermal plants during the audit period resulting in a huge loss to the state exchequer.
The panel had also asked the state government to realise Rs 400 per tonne of coal from the cement companies and their power subsidiaries and deposit it in the Meghalaya Environment Protection and Restoration Fund for using illegally mined coal.
The Central Tribunal had also sought legal action against the cement plants to be initiated by the state government, Union Ministry of Environment and Forest and the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board.
The Tribunal had said that the cement companies and its power subsidiaries had purchased illegally mined coal in the name of slate, a non-fuel mineral, to circumvent the ban imposed by the NGT on illegal rat-hole coal mining in the state.
The panel found out that the demand for a huge quantity of illegally mined coal from the plants had also sustained and supported a wide-scale illegal rat-hole coal mining in the state.
Reference: The Shillong Times
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