Traders warn Sangma on revenue loss

first_imgThe Association of Meghalaya Traders and Transporters has drawn the attention of State Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma to the illegal transportation of coal and limestone to industrial areas leading to leakage of revenue that could have helped the government build at least 100 km of roads every year.Absence of revenue checkpoints or check gates to monitor mineral-laden trucks supplying raw materials has given huge undue benefits to cement factories in East Jaintia Hills district, the Association said in a letter to Mr. Sangma.Not taxed“Coal and limestone provided by local suppliers to cement factories are not taxed, nor any accounts are kept by any government authority. On top of that, there is no concession on the cost of cement sold within Meghalaya,” Association president Enrico D. Pasi and general secretary Dalanki Suiam said.Meghalaya is a major producer of cement because of abundance of limestone and coal. The National Green Tribunal had in August refused to lift a 2014 ban on rat-hole coal mining but allowed transportation of coal already extracted.Subsidies, benefitsCement units in Meghalaya and elsewhere in the Northeast enjoy transport and other subsidies. But the benefits are not passed on to the consumers, and a bag of cement produced locally costs as much or more than a branded bag procured from other parts of India.According to the Association, some 800 limestone-laden and 130 coal-laden trucks service the cement industries daily. “This translates into almost 8.8 million metric tonnes of limestone and 1.2 million metric tonnes of coal per year. This means the government is losing out on huge revenue,” Mr. Pasi and Mr. Suiam said.last_img

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