PANAJI: With news of Vedanta being slapped with penalty notice of Rs 97.5 crore, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has also sought clarification on the matter.
On Wednesday the BSE asked the company to clarify on the hefty penalty to be paid to the state government for royalty evasion on iron ore extracted during the period of illegal mining of 2011-2013.
The clarification is to keep shareholders of Vedanta abreast of latest development within the company.
The directorate of mines and geology (DMG) on August 28 served a demand notice to Vedanta asking the company to pay principal royalty amount of Rs 54.8 crores within 14 days and the remainder, an interest amount of Rs 43.0 crore in the next seven days.
A chartered accountant’s committee findings had found Vedanta guilty of illegally mining iron ore to the tune of 20,76,746 tons between the period 2011- 2013. Subsequently, Prasanna Acharya, director for mines and geology, raised the issue of royalty on the ore and served the notice to the company.
Vedanta officials were initially called for a hearing after which the notice was issued. The audit report of the chartered accountants had made several observations, including payment of royalty by Vedanta on dry metric ton (DMT) basis instead of the wet metric ton (WMT) basis. The CA report concluded that, on “the differential quantity of 20,76,746 ton, the royalty remained unpaid.”
“The notice issued by the DMG to the company says, “The state has rejected your contention justifying payment of royalty on dry metric ton. Therefore, you are liable to pay the principal amount of Rs 54.48 crore which is the difference of royalty arrived at by the mining audit committee on the quantity of 20,76,746 metric tonne along with interest at 24 per cent which adds up to Rs 43.00 crore.”
The notice served by the DMG to Vedanta further says, “mere collection of dues will not absolve you from any civil or criminal action.”
Meanwhile, a Vedanta press statement said, “The demand notice issued by the DMG relates to the reconciliation of royalty on ore arising on account of varying interpretation of the office of the DMG and ourselves.” The company has been extending all possible cooperation to the office of the DMG and shall continue to co-ordinate with them, the statement says.
The company said that it is studying the order and will decide on the future course of action in due course of time.