Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, May 17:
The High Court today put a stay on Odisha government’s decision to collect Water Conservation Fund from industries who have set up their shops in the state.
Adjudicating over the case filed by various companies, the court, in its interim order, directed the state government not to collect water cess from the industries till further hearing.
It may be mentioned that the state cabinet, on May 15 last year, had decied to set up a corpus fund, which would be utilised for construction of water conservation projects such as barrages/check dams in the upstream areas.
The state government had decided that industries drawing more than or equal to one cusec of water will have to make a one-time deposit of Rs 2.5 crore per cusec of water allocated for setting up the corpus fund.
Later in November last year, the state government gave nod to pay the cess in five equal inatallments, in the coming five years.
Following this, the industries moved the High Court in November last year against the state government’s decision.
The industries contested that the state government cannot collect water cess in the absence of specific industrial policy.
Hindalco, Jindal Steel and Power, Aditya Alumina, Imfa, Bhusan Steel, Adhunik Metallics, Shyam Metallics and several other industries had moved the court against the state government’s decision.