Iron ore exporters from Karnataka may have to wait longer to resume exports, as the state government is likely to delay the issue of permits. Though the Supreme Court, on Monday, directed the state government to start issuing export permits, the government has asked for more time to put in place the regulatory mechanism.
“We are yet to get the circular from the head office in Bangalore before we process applications of mining companies for export permits. Once we get the order, we need at least another 15 days to put in place a system to monitor the movement of lorries,” official sources told Business Standard.
The state government had informed the Court that it had several applications for exports and these were being processed. The exporters had complained that they were not getting approvals despite the earlier orders of the court.
The state has sought more time to start the processing of miners’ applications.
According to sources, the department of mines and geology is yet to buy equipment like the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, GPS tracking system to monitor the movement of iron ore-laden lorries, additional weigh bridges and to install intermediate check posts at various places from the mine head to ports on the west coast. “All these require at least 15 days and only after installing the modern equipment can we start issuing export permits. Once we issue the permits, we have to track the movement of iron ore lorries till the ports,” official sources said.
A detailed order from the Supreme Court enabling the state government to put in place the regulatory mechanism in place is expected by Friday.
Already, a dozen companies including Mineral Enterprises Limited, MSPL, Sesa Goa and Shree Kumaraswamy Mineral Enterprises, among others, have applied to the department of mines and geology and are waiting for export permits.
Though the deadline for setting up the regulatory machinery has passed and exporters have applied for permission, they complain the government was not sanctioning exports, hence affecting their international commitments.
Karnataka had prohibited the export of iron ore with effect from July 26, 2010, following allegations of widespread illegal mining and transport to other states.