As many as 42 industrial units in Chhattisgarh owe over Rs 600 crore to the state government as water tax, with Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) leading the pack with a dues of Rs 432.87 crore.
Water Resources Minister Brijmohan Agrawal informed the assembly today while replying to a question raised by BJP MLA Devji Bhai Patel, who sought a reply on water allocation to industries from various resources and subsequent collection of water tax.
In his reply, Agrawal said that 57 industries were being supplied water from different water resources in the state.
“Water cess amounting to around Rs 600 crore is pending against 42 industries. There is a provision of collecting water tax as per the rates fixed by the government from time to time. Efforts were being made to recover the dues from the industries, which include private as well as government entities,” the minister added.
The entities that figure on the list are CSEB Korba (East) 440 MW (291.57 cr), CSEB Korba (West) 840 MW (Rs 131.37 cr) and CSEB Power House Korba (Rs 2.04 cr).
Also on the list are Wardha Power Company Ltd (KSK Mahanadi) (Rs 26.95 cr), M/s Nova Iron and Steel Ltd (Rs 40.22 cr), Ind Synergy Ltd, Kotmar (Rs 27.42 cr), National Thermal Power Corporation, Darri (Rs 15.60 cr), NTPC Sipat (Rs 9.58 cr), Balco (Rs 6.84 cr) which owe water taxes to the state government.
“Water cess to the tune of Rs 614.78 crore is pending against the industries, which is causing a huge loss to the state exchequer. Despite this the water resources department is not taking the issue seriously,” Patel said.
He alleged the Water Allocation department has even failed to collect water tax from Railways which is using huge quantity of water from different resources in the state.
In his reply, Agrawal said that some of the industries had requested to waive off its pending taxes owing to recession.
“Efforts are underway to recover taxes from these industries. Necessary action will be taken against these firms if they failed to do so within stipulated period of time,” he added.