A team from the Niti Aayog met Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and other officials to discuss the state’s grievances on 22 points pertaining to the Centre’s outstanding dues from several projects.
These dues worth nearly Rs 31,886 crore – include GST compensation, Coal India Ltd’s land acquisition compensation and non-payment of royalty on washed coal. The state government also complained to the Niti Aayog members that power dues from the state worth Rs 5,608 crore were being deducted by the Central government in installments despite the Jharkhand Power DISCOM seeking to loan the entire amount under the Atmanirbhar package, as provisioned.
Chief Minister Soren, Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon and Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh were among those who met the eight-member team of the Niti Aayog comprising Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog member (health) and Senior advisor Niraj Sinha. They spoke on a range of issues including the release of grants for water projects and for tackling malnutrition from the amount provided under 15th Finance Commission.
“The total dues of Damodar Valley Corporation are around Rs 5,608 crore. It includes the disputed amount of Rs 1,152 crore and interest of Rs 537 crore. As per JBVNL (state’s DISCOM), the undisputed dues of DVC is Rs 3,919 crore. A sum of 2,845.5 crore has (already) been deducted by the Ministry of Power by invocation of the Tripartite Agreement (TPA)…Under Atma Nirbhar Abhiyan Package the DISCOMs could avail loan to discharge their liability…JBVNL was processing to get the loan…In the meanwhile, TPA was invoked without taking consent of the state government. This was invoked during Covid times when resources of the state were already under stress,” stated the document which was prepared for the said meeting. It also asked not to deduct further two installments of Rs 1,125.8 crore each.