The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has said that stockpiles at mine-heads are increasing and not allowing their export will amount to complete wastage of a material which can earn valuable foreign exchange for the country.
At present the country requires around 165 million tonnes of iron ore as against production of 206 million tonnes of the main ingredient used in steel making, FIMI said in a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
“The stockpiles at mine-heads are increasing year after year. If there is no demand for such iron ore from steel and sponge iron plants in the country and miners are not allowed to export, this material will be washed away and go into rivers and rivulets during the rainy season… This will be an utter waste of material for which we can earn money and add to our GDP,” the letter said.
The miners, it said, are exporting iron ore legally to only buyer available i.e. China and contributing to the country’s GDP.
“There is export duty on the exports of iron ore +58 per cent Fe. If the steel industry purchases this iron ore, there will be no necessity to export,” it said.
It further said if steel usage is promoted in the country by removing the import duty on it, the domestic user will get cheaper and better grade of steel.
“Removal of import duty will also push the complacent domestic steel industry to innovate and become more efficient to produce steel at a competitive price,” it said.