'House panel's ban on ore export unfair'

The Parliamentary Standing Committee did not act objectively on the issue of banning the export of iron ore, for which the domestic steel industry had “lobbied”, the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) said here on Wednesday.

Senior vice president of FIMI, Basant Poddar, told mediapersons that the decision to ban the export of iron ore was “influenced” by the “lobbying” of the steel industry which wants the mineral to be conserved for the future demand.

The FIMI secretary general, RK Sharma, said, “If the export is allowed for this year, we can earn around 10 billion dollar, but no action has been taken so far on uplifting the ban.”

He also mentioned that the current account deficit (CAD) continues to remain high and only worsened over the year mainly because of overdependence on imports, and less exports.
India had earned foreign exchange to the tune of Rs 1.17 lakh crore between 2009-10 and 2011-12 from the export of iron ore.

One lakh people lost jobs

Gradually, the export of iron ore declined from 117 million tonnes in 2009-10 to 98 million in 2010-11, 60 million tonnes in 2011-12 and to a mere 18 million tonne in 2012-13. The situation has resulted in losses and one lakh employees have lost jobs, he added.

Around 65,000 applications for mining concession are pending in various states. Of them, 44,000 are for grants for mining leases and 2,500 for their renewal, Poddar further said.
The FIMI will conduct an annual ‘Mining, Exploration Convention and Trade Show’ from Wednesday to Saturday at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). South Africa, Peru, Canada, Australia and Mozambique are expected to take part in the show.

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