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Exports of iron ore should be stopped - Parliamentary Committee

PTI reported that favouring a ban on iron ore exports, a Parliamentary panel has called for restricting the mining of the ore for domestic purposes only as it is a scarce resource.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce in its report tabled in Rajya Sabha said that “The committee strongly feels that the (Commerce) Department may promote export of our agricultural products but exports of iron ore or similar resources which are scarce and limited should be stopped.”

According to the official figures, iron ore production in the country was about 208 million tonnes in 2010-11, while domestic consumption was a little over half of the total production.

The iron ore exports are expected to come down to about 65 MT in 2011-12 from 97 million tonnes in the previous fiscal due to a mining ban in Karnataka and probe initiated by mineral rich states like Odisha and Goa to check illegal mining issues.

The panel, headed by Shanta Kumar, said the Department of Commerce can learn from China which despite enjoying huge iron ore reserves has been preserving them for future.

It said that “It (China) has only been importing the iron ore, processing and value adding it and selling it at a premium to the world adding that efforts should be made to expand the domestic steel-making capacity so as to consume what is mined.”

It added that “Till the time, necessary advances are made, the mining of our iron ore and other scarce resources may be limited to our domestic requirement.”

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