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FIMI urges Centre not to impose blanket ban on iron ore export

The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has urged the Centre not to impose a blanket ban on the export of iron ore, as it would "affect India's steel industry and result in the closure of captive mines."

FIMI secretary R K Bansal, in the letter written to Joint Plant Committee, Union Ministry of Steel, on November 4, has said that "there should be no blanket ban or qualitative restriction on ore exports."

FIMI, country's leading federation of mineral industries, argues that the availability of iron ore in the domestic market will suffer, if exports are banned, as the extraction would completely come to a halt.

It has argued that due to the discontinuation of mining, further exploration would also come to the halt and therefore no further addition to reserves and resources can happen.

"A ban on export will mean that most of the non-captive mines will get closed with consequent adverse impacts on local economy, employment as well as state revenues," Bansal said.

"With the discontinuance of non-captive production, the availability of lumps and high grade fines to the steel industry will get reduced, thus proving counter-productive to the interests of the steel industry," FIMI said.

The federation has also demanded that export duty should not be imposed as "exports provide cushion against fluctuation in demand and prices in the domestic market and vice-versa."

It has said that there should be no captive mines allowed to any steel plant, since the domestic iron ore production is already surplus to the domestic demand and will continue to be so for next few years.

FIMI has urged the Centre to develop iron ore mining as a standalone mining industry, separate from steel industry, so that, "both could work at arm's length and benefit from each other's strength and innovations rather than take shelter behind the safety net available."

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