Sawant meets FM, demands ore duty be retained at 30%

THE GOAN NETWORK | MAY 24, 2022, 12:16 AM IST


Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday met Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi and placed before her the demand that the hike in export duty for all forms of iron ore be rolled back.

Sawant said, he has formally asked Sitharaman that the export duty on iron ore which was hiked to 50 per cent be revised and retained at the former 30 per cent level.

The hike in export duty on iron ore concentrates was aimed at facilitating greater availability of iron ore for the domestic steel industry but is expected to deliver a lethal blow on the State's already beleaguered mining industry making operations financially unviable.

It is also expected to adversely affect valuations of iron ore deposits which the State is preparing to auction through leases. 

Meanwhile, Sawant also discussed with Sitharaman the expected shortage of approximately Rs 1,000 crore in tax revenue receipts for Goa in the face of the Centre discontinuing compensation to States under the General Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime from July this year.

Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho, who has been representing the State on the GST Council since 2018, accompanied the chief minister in the discussions.

The discontinuance of the GST compensation from the Centre could plunge the State, already reeling under the triple economic stress of mining ban, pandemic related shortfalls and inflation, into an impending financial crisis. 

In the 2021-22 fiscal, the State had received approximately Rs 1,000 crore from the Centre in tranches as compensation.

The Central GST Act had come into effect in 2017, and the first five year period that the Centre was mandated to compensate States ends on July 1, 2022.

Godinho, meanwhile, had placed on record at the last GST council meeting a request to the Centre to find solutions to overcome the shortfall as the avenues for mobilising resources in the case of small States like Goa were limited.

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