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Royalty share: Syiem warns of legal action against Govt

Over Rs 277 crore to be paid to KHADC as per budget

SHILLONG: Congress MLA P.N Syiem has threatened to approach judiciary for the alleged discrepancy in the share of royalty on major minerals to KHADC. The State government has downplayed the stand of the KHADC chief on the matter.
During the question hour on Wednesday, Syiem pointed out that while collection of royalty on minerals by the government was more, the share given to the Council was less. He threatened the government with legal action.
In reply, the District Council Affairs Minister Prestone Tynsong said the member is welcome to go move court.
However, raising a supplementary question, Syiem wanted to know the figure related to the pending share to the three Councils as presented by the District Council Affairs Minister in the Assembly.
The pending royalty share on major minerals to KHADC as provided by Tynsong was over Rs 36 crore (Rs 36,42,46,169). But Syiem pointed out that the reply was not correct as the pending amount is more.
For JHADC, it was Rs 20,57,88,586 and for GHADC Rs 64,97,185. The total amount is Rs 57,00,34,755.
Later in the evening, addressing a news conference, Syiem said detailed estimate of revenue and expenditure of the Finance Department for the last four years shows that the government had not paid the full royalty to KHADC.
The KHADC will write to the State government next week on the matter, Syiem added.     Indicating that the Council is getting less share, he handed a statement reflecting the comparative statement as per the district budget and the amount released to KHADC from 2012-13 onwards.
According to Syiem, the actual royalty amount to be paid by the State government to KHADC is Rs over 277 crore (Rs 2,774,789,674) for the financial year 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.
He pointed out that in 2012-13, the total amount received by the Council was over Rs 13 crore whereas as the actual amount payable is over Rs 74 crore thereby leaving a balance of over Rs 61 crore.
For 2013-14, over Rs 14 crore was received whereas the actual amount was over Rs 89 crore and the outstanding balance was over Rs 74 crore. In 2014-15, the actual royalty to be paid was more than Rs 102 crore while the Council received over Rs 13 crore and the remaining balance was over Rs 89 crore, Syiem enumerated.
For 2015-16, the amount received is over Rs 5 crore whereas the KHADC was to get over Rs 57 crore thereby leaving an outstanding amount of over 52 crore, he said.
Again in 2016-17, the State government had projected in its district budget over Rs 12 crore, while the KHADC received over Rs 7 crore, the actual amount payable and outstanding balance is yet to be known as the government is waiting for the March figures.
Syiem said as per the constitutional mandate stipulated in Paragraph 9 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, the share should come to the Councils at the end of every financial year whereas in reality crores of rupees are pending.
As far as major minerals are concerned, the share on coal is 25 per cent to the Council and 75 per cent to the State government whereas for limestone, the Council will get 60 per cent and government 40 per cent.
The same 60-40 pattern is applicable while sharing the royalty on minor minerals between the Council and State government.
“We are aggrieved over the matter and we will write to the government to clarify on the district budget and the less amount of money provided,” Syiem said.
Tynsong had earlier replied in the Assembly that it was not a fact that the State government was meting out step-motherly treatment to the district councils. “We never did it nor we are doing it as both the State and District Councils are constitutional,” the minister said.
Tynsong also said the share of royalty for 2016-17 is yet to be calculated as the matter is pending with the Auditor General.

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