Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren demanded a hike in royalty on coal at a meeting with a team from the NITI Aayog, officials said on Thursday.
At the meeting, he also raised the issue of the release of compensation for land acquisition, which he said was pending with different coal companies. An eight-member team of NITI Aayog, led by its member Vinod Kumar Paul, is on a visit to the state to review its progress on various aspects. It held a meeting with the chief minister at the state secretariat on Wednesday.
Soren said compensation of about Rs 80,000 crore is due with different coal companies against land acquisition, and only Rs 2,532 crore has been given. "Coal companies should pay compensation for the land they have acquired, even if mining work has not started on it," he said. It was agreed at the meeting that the coal companies will submit a report on how much land was acquired and how much compensation was paid, an official statement said.
Soren also demanded that the royalty on coal be increased. The chief minister also sought additional foodgrains from the Centre. He said the Centre has a fixed quota for beneficiaries as part of National Food Security Mission.
"But, more beneficiaries need subsidised ration in the state. The state government is giving subsidised ration to additional 20 lakh beneficiaries under green card category," he said. Soren said the state government has to purchase grains for the additional beneficiaries from the market as FCI was not providing for them.
"The NITI Aayog should place the demand of Jharkhand with the central government that FCI should also provide grains for the ration card holders of the state government," he said. He also demanded 8.5 lakh houses under PM Awas Yojana for the people of the state. Paul said NITI Aayog works as a bridge between the Centre and state governments.
"Whatever cooperation is needed from the Centre for the development of Jharkhand, the Aayog will work in this regard. The meeting was successful," he said.