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Difficult to impose a ban iron ore exports – Commerce and Industries Minister

Mr Anand Sharma, Commerce and Industries Minister has said it would be difficult to impose a ban on iron ore exports as it would affect the mining sector and livelihood of many, besides causing environmental hazards.

Mr Sharma responding to a query on the demand for imposing a ban from different quarters including Odisha government said that "It would be tough to put a halt to export as storing huge volumes of iron ores for long would be environmentally hazardous.”

He said that mining activities generate jobs for thousands of poor people and stopping surplus mining would affect their livelihood.

Stating that the country is at present producing 230 million tonnes to 235 million tonnes of iron ore per annum, the minister said, only 92 million tonnes to 95 million tonnes of the produced ores are consumed in the domestic sector, making the rest exportable surplus.

Mr Sharma said that "Let us see how it can be regulated in a firm manner to check bad practices and illegal exports that has crept in. It will take time for India to consume the entire iron ores produced by it.”

Underlining the need for adopting a balanced and judicious view, he said that "We will not take extreme steps. What is right will be done."

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