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8 coal mines to be auctioned after 10 in Round 3: Coal secretary

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Image courtesy Firstpost
Image courtesy Firstpost

New Delhi: The government will put eight more coal mines up for auction after completing the process for 10 mines in the third phase in mid-August, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said on Wednesday.

“After these 10 mines (in August), eight more mines are in the queue,” he told reporters here on the sidelines of a conference on minerals and metals organised by a business chamber.

“We have more and more mines coming in so that they would suffice for other sectors also,” he said.

Swarup also said that in view of the need to step up India’s coal production to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020, there is a plan to hire manpower for mining.

“As far as 1.5 billion tonnes of production is concerned we have a full-fledged HR plan of having manpower to mine these mines,” he said.

The third round of coal mine auctions for 10 blocks will be held from August 11 to 17.

Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said last month that the government will open more than 60 coal mines across the country in the coming days.

He had said the new mines were part of the overall plan for state miner Coal India to double its current production of 500 million tonnes per annum in five years to reach the country’s total production target of 1,500 million tonnes by 2020.

Coal India achieved a record 32 million tonnes increase in production in the last year, which led to a 12 percent increase in power production, the minister said.

(IANS)

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Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase

the government would start a three-digit consumer helpline number

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Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase
Finance Minister Appeals To Insist On Bill For Every Purchase. Flickr

Seeking consumers’ participation in curbing tax evasion, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on the eve of completion of one year of GST rollout on Saturday appealed to them to insist on bill for every purchase saying it would help the government check evasion and reduce tax rate on each item by as much as 4-5 per cent. He further said the government would start a three-digit consumer helpline number to enable them to lodge complaint against erring traders or any other kind of tax evasion.

Touted as the biggest indirect tax reform since Independence, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was rolled out last year on July 1. “I want to appeal to the people that they should demand a bill whenever they go to purchase any goods. If you start asking for a bill…if there’s awareness about this, then we can reduce rates by 4-5 per cent for every item (under GST),” Goyal told reporters here.

He said if any shop says that they will sell at a lower price if the consumer does not demand a bill, then the consumer should immediately file a complaint, he said. “We will soon provide a three-digit simple number which will work as a call centre where customers can complain. We will ensure full confidentiality of the complainant,” Goyal said. The endeavour will be to start the helpline number within 15-20 days, he said. A nationwide campaign too could be launched for creating consumer awareness about demanding bills for purchases made. “If everyone starts giving bill then competition will be on quality and customer service and not on ability to cheat the system,” Goyal said. He further said the government wants to reduce the burden of taxation on consumers but revenue needs to increase and support of states is also needed to cut rates where it is essential.

bills
bills owing. Flickr

With formalisation of economy, the government will have more elbow room to reduce rates, he said.

Also read: Out of Total Tax Fine of $15 billion, Apple Pays $1.77 billion to Irish Government

Goyal also assured small businesses if they face any trouble, then they can write to him and it would be resolved. He said amendments would be introduced to the GST law in monsoon session to increase composition scheme threshold from the current Rs 1 crore. The GST Council had last year decided to increase the threshold to Rs 1.5 crore and also decided to amend the law to increase the statutory threshold to Rs 2 crore. (IANS)

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