Tatas have asked Centre not to charge profit sharing as a separate tax

Sharp differences over the proposed 26 per cent profit-sharing by mining companies with local population in the draft Mining Bill came to the fore on Friday when Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal rebutted Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh's plea to exempt public sector undertakings from the ambit of the proposed law.

Speaking at the Coal Summit here, Mr. Jaiswal said he strongly believed that PSUs and private players should get a level playing field under the profit-sharing regime.

The Coal Minister, speaking in contrast to Mr. Singh, said there is no proposal before the GoM to give concessions to PSUs in this regard. Differences also emerged among PSUs with Coal India chief Partha S. Bhattacharyya supporting the proposed policy initiative while Steel Authority of India Chairman C. S. Verma had sought exemption from this regime whenever it was implemented.

Mr. Singh had spoken about giving special concession to the PSUs stating they deserve differential treatment, as they have been continuously committed to fulfilling their social responsibility obligation.The Tatas have also criticised the proposal and asked the government not to charge ‘profit-sharing' as a separate tax, saying that social obligation is part of the operating cost of the company. The proposal has been termed discriminatory by Jindal Steel and Power, which is led by industrialist-turned Congress MP Naveen Jindal. The firm has termed the proposed 26 per profit-sharing as too high.

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