Mines dept rejects Sesa’s request for more time to pay stamp duty

 

The Sesa Goa Mining Company’s request for more time to pay the stamp duty of
Rs 120 crore has been rejected by the director of mines and geology (DoMG).
The leading mining company, in a letter, had sought more time for paying stamp duty, for the next 20 years, amounting to Rs 120 crore pertaining to its three mines – two in Cudli, Sanguem and one in Honda, Sattari.
A top officer of Sesa Goa, Mr C D Chitnis, in his letter to the director of mines and geology had sought more time claiming that the ongoing suspension of mining operations had put a considerable pressure on the cash flow of the company and the company was looking for an alternative source of finance, which would take some time.
The year 2012 annual report of Sesa Goa shows it to be the India’s largest producer and exporter of iron ore in the private sector and on course to be in the league of top four iron ore producing companies in the world.
The total assets as per the company’s balance sheet for the financial year 2012 are worth ` 20,401 crore and the income is shown as ` 8,544 crore before tax.
“When the company of such a stature seeks an extension on the basis of cash crunch it not digestible,” said the director of mines and geology, Mr Prasanna Acharya.
Mr Acharya, is his reply, has made it clear that “for the last five years mining leases in Goa are operating without paying a single rupee hence any further delay is not accepted.”
He has said, in the letter, that “several queries have been received by the DoMG regarding computation of stamp duty payable on leases having common EC. The government has clarified the issue earlier, however, in case common EC is granted, though the amount is payable on combined EC, but the amount is divided as per the total area of all leases covered by common EC and multiplied by the area of individual lease.” 
The DoMG has also said in the letter that “renewals are granted as per the criteria of department and it is not left open for lessee to challenge or suggest the order of priority for renewal, fixed by the department.”
The letter has further made it clear that “notices were not issued under the Indian Stamp (Goa Amendment) Act, 2012, and thus the question of 60 days period doesn’t arise as renewal has been delayed for the last five years.”
Meanwhile, two mines of Ms V M Salgaocar Brother, that had sought an extension in time for the payment of stamp duty, has agreed to pay 9.5 crore. [NT]