SC gives relief to coal dealers

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Oct 2017 09:51:36


Business Bureau,

The Supreme Court recently gave a sigh of relief to coal delaers as it set aside the Ministry of Mines’ decision to collect contribution to the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) on stawing of coal with effect from October 20, 2015. On October 20, 2015 the Government of India had issued a notification regarding the contribution to the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) on coal for stowing. As per the notification, the charges would be applicable from the date of formation of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in respective states or the date of notification, whichever is prior.

But later on the Governmnet issued yet another notification saying that the contribution would be apllicable from the January 12, 2015. The Central India Coal dealers Association, representing over 95 delaers in the region, had challeged the notification saying that DMF in Maharashtra was set up on September 1, 2016 and thus the contribution should be applicable from that day.

The Supreme Court constitution bench consisting of Justice Madan B Lokur, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Deepak Gupta observed that the contribution shall be paid only from the date of the notification (October 20, 2015) or from the date of establishment of the DMF in the concerned state, whichever is prior. As the DMF was set in Maharashtra on September 1, 2016, the mining lease holders will have to pay the contribution from September 1, 2016 and not from January 12, 2016.

The Supreme Court also hoped that State Governments will recognize their responsibilities and utilize the contributions to the District Mineral Funds quickly and for the object for which they have been established, particularly since the amounts involved are huge.

The Court also granted time till December 31, 2017 to holders of a mining lease or a prospecting licence-cum-mining lease who have not made the full contribution to the District Mineral Funds to pay it, failing which they will be liable to make the contribution with interest at 15% per annum from due date.

Expressing happiness, over the positive oucome of this judgement, coal dealers recently felicitated Rajendra Bansal, General Secretary of Central India Coal dealers Association. On befalf of the association, Bansal had filed the petition in Supreme Court challeging the Ministry of Mines decision to collect contribution with effect from October 20, 2015.

Satyanarayan Rathi, President of the association and other office - bearers including Dharmapal Agrawal, Vice President; Mangilal Bajaj, Treasurer; Hariom Chaudhary, Sajjan Jain, Naresh jain, Purushottam Malu, Minku Agrawal, Vasudeo Malu, Y P Mehta, and Dilip Agrawal jointly feliciated Rajendra Bansal.