An Australian minister has said that the Adani Group could walk away from the proposed $16.5-billion (around Rs 1 lakh crore) Carmichael coal project in the country if the government fails to decide on its royalties policy, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Federal Resources Minister Matthew Canavan said the future of the country’s largest coal project depends on the Queensland government.
The government has yet to decide whether it will offer the company tax breaks for the project. Adani Group has decided to put the project on hold until it has more clarity on royalties it needs to pay.
“You can’t expect Adani to make a multi-billion dollar decision if they don’t know what tax they will pay,” Canavan told Bloomberg. “The ball is now in the Queensland government’s court.”
The Queensland government had suggested a deal to the company, according to which Adani Group would have had to pay less royalty in the initial years. However, when added up over the 60 year-period estimated for the project’s completion, the amount is likely to be equivalent to no breaks or cuts.
The project was first proposed in 2010. Since then, several environmental activists have raised concerns about its impact on the local ecosystem. In March, Gautam Adani, the chairman of the company, said it could start mining coal in 2020. However, that was before the Westpac Banking Corp stopped funding the project in April citing a new policy on coal emissions.