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BW Businessworld

Govt May hike Duties On Iron Ore Exports

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The government on Monday said it may further increase duties on iron ore to discourage its export in order to keep it for meeting domestic demands.

"We have increased export duty from five per cent to 20 per cent. We may increase it further," Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

Verma said government was discouraging export of iron ore and trying to keep it for domestic consumption.

Nearly 50 per cent of the iron ore produced in the country has been exported over the last three years, he said.

In 2008-09 212.96 million tonnes (MT) of iron ore was produced of which 105.86 MT (49.7 per cent) was exported and in 2009-10 218.64 MT ore was produced and 117.37 MT (53.7 per cent) was exported, Verma said.

He said in 2010-11 the estimated production was 208.11 MT of which 97.66 MT (46.9 per cent) was marked for export.

"The production of iron ore in the country is about to double the consumption of iron ore by the domestic iron and steel industry and therefore is sufficient to meet the present requirement of iron ore by the steel sector in the country," he said.

As regards iron ore supply to PSUs, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has is own captive mines which cater to its full requirement of iron ore, he said.

Verma said the requirement of iron ore of other PSUs - Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited and KIOCL Ltd - is fulfilled by National Mineral Development Corporation.