Official critical of iron ore trade with China

Official critical of iron ore trade with China

“India exports iron ore to China and imports manufactured goods from that country.  Not only India, even the markets of the US are flooded with Chinese goods.

We must remember natural resources are finite. If we are surrendering our natural resources for manufactured goods from another country, it is a colonial pattern of trade,” Susmita Dasgupta, deputy chief economist with the Union Ministry of Steel, told an international conference of iron ore producers here that had a number of Chinese buyers.

She felt India lacked a long-term plan or vision with respect to its natural resources. “We must not be oblivious of the fact that natural resources are only finite and not going to last forever. More than tracking down the problem of illegal mining, it is also important to see where miners are putting their profits,” she said.

“In the US, mining laws are very strong. Consumers can take miners to court if their interests are jeopardised,” she said.

Rules are equally stringent in Australia, where the government has taken an official stand that mining cannot be a sustainable activity, Dasgupta said.

Director of Indonesia-based S M Powergen Enterprises Madhu Sethi said mines in Indonesia are private players driven, but getting mining licences is a tough proposition in view of stern environmental laws.