India following Colonial trade system, says ministry official

Deputy Chief Economist of the Union Steel Ministry Dr Susmita Dasgupta was speaking during a session on the last day of the 'International Iron Ore and Steel Making Raw Materials' conference.

"Coal and iron would soon be major issues determining the national politics. We must remember that natural resources are a very finite matter. If we are surrendering our natural resources for the manufactured goods from another country, it is a colonial pattern of trade," she said.

"Exporting raw material to China and importing finished good from them is similar to the Colonial trade, which India had faced during the East India Company regime" the official said.

She said that on the lines of USA and Australia, India should also have a comprehensive policy document on mining, to ensure that interests of those, other than the mine-owners, are not harmed in anyway.

"In the US, mining laws are very strong. Consumers can take miners to court if their interests are jeopardised. India is not operating out on a long term plan or vision, with respect to its natural resources," Dasgupta added.

The two-day long conference had representatives from India, China and Indonesia, deliberating on the future of iron ore industry, considering the current crisis in the sector.

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