Free Press Journal

FIMI pitches for complete withdrawal of iron ore export duty


New Delhi: Apex industry body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) today pitched for complete withdrawal of export duty of iron ore, saying it would help achieve zero-waste mining.

“In order that the resources are fully utilised without detriment to the domestic steel industry, it is imperative to make Indian exports competitive by withdrawing export duty completely,” FIMI said in an hour-long meeting with Steel and Mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Iron ore exports at present attract 30 per cent duty.

The industry association suggested that as exports from Karnataka are banned and not yet open from Goa, shipments can be made from Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and other states.

“If the export duty is withdrawn and railway freight is brought at par with domestic fare, we are sure, the exports can go up to 70-75 million tonnes per year,” FIMI said.

“Exports help in fuller utilisataion of resources and lead to zero-waste mining,” it added.

India’s export of iron ore has come down drastically to 14.42 million tonnes in 2013-14 compared to 117.37 million tonnes in 2009-10. Miners often blame the duty hike for the dip in shipments.

“Most of the exports are from standalone non-captive mines providing direct and indirect employment to more than one million people in backward and tribal area,” a delegation led by FIMI President H C Daga said.

An official statement later said during the interaction, FIMI requested to take steps for enhancing exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in the country and laid emphasis that while meeting the need of domestic industry, export also needs to be encouraged.

Tomar said that government was keen in bringing about a transparent policy for using mineral resources of the country and the mineral industry’s suggestions will help in formulating a policy on mining.

The Minister said the government would coordinate with all stakeholders so that the interests of environmental and rehabilitation issues were also adequately addressed along with exploitation.