The Assam government had incurred a cumulative loss of revenue to the tune of about Rs 10,000 crore since 2008-09 due to oil companies not paying royalty on crude oil at 20 per cent on well-head price, chief minister Tarun Gogoi told prime minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday.
Gogoi, while participating in the prime minister’s consultative meeting with chief ministers on restructuring the Planning Commission said Assam had incurred this heavy revenue loss as oil exploration companies were paying royalty on crude oil on the basis of heavily discounted price and not on production of crude oil at 20 percent on well head price.
“I strongly urge the Prime Minister to see to it that companies engaged in exploration of crude oil in Assam are made to pay royalty on production of crude oil at 20 percent on well head price and not on the basis of heavily discounted price,” he said.
“We estimate that this has resulted in cumulative loss of revenue of more than Rs. 10,000 crore to Assam since 2008-09. We have raised this issue before the hon’ble Prime Minister several times before and we hope that this would be speedily addressed,” Gogoi said. Assam had produced 4709 thousand metric tons of crude oil during 2013-14, which was slightly less than 4863 thousand metric tons produced during 2012-13.
Taking up some key issues relating to the flow of funds affecting all the eight states of the Northeastern region, Gogoi also urged the prime minister to accord priority to the issue of transferring the whopping Rs. 12,000 crore accumulated under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) of selected ministries to the ministry of development of Northeastern region.
Gogoi, who opposed replacing the Planning Commission by a new institution, said this would do more harm than good. “Replacing the Planning Commission, without carefully devising the new structure to meet the obligations of our polity and economy, is likely to do more harm than good. I am not in favour of replacing the Planning Commission by a new institution without a proper examination of the implications involved and in the absence of an institutional structure acceptable to all,” he said.
Advocating the need for continuation of the existing funding pattern of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (on a 90:10 basis), the Assam chief minister also pleaded with the prime minister for continuous support to all Special Category states in case the new institution comes up.