**Bhubaneswar: ** As slated earlier and also in pursuance of the Orissa High Court ruling, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday (August 18) have begun an important meeting since 11 am at Odisha Bhawan in New Delhi in a bid to strike out an amicable solution over the ongoing dispute over Paradip Refinery between Odisha Government and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL).
Besides the Odisha CM and Union Petroleum Minister, the high level meeting are being attended by Odisha Chief Secretary, Development Commissioner, Finance Secretary, Petroleum Ministry Secretary and IOCL Chairman.
After the meeting, both the Chief Minister and Petroleum Minister exuded confidence and appeared optimistic of an amicable solution.
Talking to media, the Odisha CM said that he is hopeful of a solution soon keeping in priority the State’s interest.
In his media reactions, the Petroleum Minister also viewed the same thing but proposed for an amendment in the existing MoU inked in 2004 so that both sides get benefitted.
As per the MoU inked in 2004 between Odisha Government and IOCL, it is being complained by the State Government that the Paradip Refinery began its operation very late and even kept the State Government in dark during its expansion breaching the MoU norms. The Paradip project is even allegedly violating environmental pollution.
Apart from it, the apple of discord is the tax moratorium withdrawn from Paradip Refinery by Odisha Government. Odisha now demands Rs 2745 crore per annum towards VAT to its State coffers or Rs 200 crore per month as IOCL has violated the terms and condition laid down in the MoU signed.
Both have now taken legal recourse and the case is pending with the Orissa High Court. Earlier, the court has ruled that both sides should try to arrive at an amicable solution within two months.