June 13, 2014

Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar: Apex industry body ASSOCHAM on Friday called on Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman and submitted a memorandum strongly suggesting the new regime to impose 30 per cent export duty on iron ore pellets in interest of the domestic steel industry.“As the export of iron ore pellets rose to a whopping 1.5 million tonnes in fiscal year 2013-14 as against nil in 2012-13, we have urged the Centre for levying export duty on iron ore pellets as in the case of iron ore fines and lumps in order to ensure iron ore security to India’s steel industry,” said senior ASSOCHAM Managing Committee member Ravi Wig who led the chamber’s delegation.“Presently, iron ore pellet attracts zero duty while the duty on iron ore (lumps and fines) export is 30 per cent, therefore exporters are circumventing iron ore pellets’ exports by paying only five per cent export duty,” highlighted the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in a communication addressed to Commerce and Industry Minister.Iron ore production in India has fallen significantly during the course of past few years i.e.from a level of 218 MT in 2009-10 to only 144 MT in 2013-14 which is further expected to drop to 100 MT in FY 2014-15 against the demand of 140 MT.“The drop in iron ore production is due to reduced or no production of iron ore from states like Goa, Karnataka and Odisha after the ban imposed by the Supreme Court,” ASSOCHAM said.ASSOCHAM has suggested the government to maintain 30 per cent duty on export of iron ore (lumps and fines) till the time iron ore shortage situation in India normalises.“Exports of iron ore pellets is not only draining India’s mineral wealth but is also causing significant revenue loss to the country as pellets attract only five per cent export duty whereas it is 30 per cent in case of iron ore exports,” said ASSOCHAM secretary general D.S.Rawat.

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