Wed, 18th Jan 2017 (Source:The Economic Times)
Miners' body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has sought for abolition of export duty on the low-grade iron ore in the upcoming budget. "Due to the slowdown in steel industry, domestic demand of iron ore is very subdued. At present, the iron ore from Odisha and Jharkhand can be exported only from Haldia, Paradip, Vizag and Dhamra ports," FIMI Secretary General R K Sharma told PTI.
"Therefore, we suggested the government that export duty on iron ore exported from these ports may be removed for ore up to 62 per cent Fe content as against up to 58 per cent Fe at present," Sharma said.
Iron is a chemical element with symbol Fe and atomic number 26. At present, there is an export duty of 30 per cent on low-grade iron ore. Iron ore is a key ingredient in steel making. Further, Sharma was of the view that as against the production of 155.90 million tonnes (MT) of iron ore in 2015-16, domestic demand is only 115 MT.
He added that "4.50 MT iron ore was exported mainly from Goa (3.255), Vizag (1.106) and a small quantity from Redi port (0.146) which seems to be of Goan origin."
"Moreover, 7.09 MT of iron ore was imported by steel companies, mainly by JSW in Karnataka. The net demand of iron ore was therefore 112.41 MT, " he explained. In addition, there is a stockpile of 128.66 MT of iron ore at mine-heads as on 31 March, 2015, he said.
The areas where there is surplus production and lack of adequate outlet are Odisha and Jharkhand. The mines in these states are in interior. Because of non-lifting of entire production, Odisha had a stockpile of 76.92 MT and Jharkhand 24.72 MT at mine-heads as on March 31, 2015.
"Out of the total stockpile of 144.52 MT (at mine-heads as on July 31, 2016), 122.83 MT or 85 per cent are in Odisha and Jharkhand," he said. Odisha also accounts for 58 per cent of the total stockpile in the country. It will be further observed that of the total stockpile, 70 per cent are below 62 per cent Fe (both lumps and fines). Fines constitute 93 per cent of the all-India stockpile of below 62 per cent Fe in these two states, he added. The Government will present the Union Budget for FY 2017-18 on February 1.