Ministers' group for banning iron ore export

At a GoM meeting held under the chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here, many ministers  favoured banning export of iron ore to end illegal mining.
It was learnt that Union Steel Minister Veerbhadra Singh suggested that to protect the country’s steel industry, the Centre should take steps for an immediate ban on iron ore export.

He also strongly pitched for hiking the export duty on the extracted mineral to help lower prices of finished products in the country.The panel was formed to discuss the draft of new mining legislation and issues pertaining to illegal prospecting and export of the commodity.  
This apart, the issue of illegal mining was discussed, particularly against the backdrop of charges levelled by the Opposition against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Karnataka for turning a blind eye to illegal mining in the state.

‘No decision yet’
“We discussed the draft act. The minister for mines (B K Handique) made a detailed presentation. Some concerns were raised by members. But no specific decision has been taken,”Mines Secretary Santha Sheela Nair told newsmen after the meeting.
Since only some of the members could make their observations due to paucity of time, the group of ministers will meet again to discuss the issues further, the secretary said.
The issues discussed on Thursday included the proposed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation)Act 2010 that seeks to facilitate greater inflow of foreign investment into the industry.

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