The mines industry has sought abolition of the 30 per cent export duty on iron ore with up to 62 per cent ferrous content. It wishes to export the surplus stock.
At present, there is nil export duty on ore with up to 58 per cent ferrous content. Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (Fimi) and Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association have both sought the duty abolition. In a presentation to the central government, Fimi has said: “Since there is no domestic demand for iron ore up to 62 per cent Fe, the only alternative is to export.” Due to slowdown in the steel industry, domestic demand for iron ore is subdued. As against production of 191 million tonnes (mt) in 2016-17, domestic demand was 107 mt. About 30.5 mt was exported, mainly from Goa and Vizag. And, 4.6 mt of iron ore was imported by steel companies, mainly by JSW in Karnataka.
As on end-March 2017, the stockpile was 149 mt. Currently, iron ore export from Karnataka has been banned by the Supreme Court. The export duty on ore up to 58 per cent Fe, mainly produced in Goa, was done away to make export viable from that state. The areas where there is surplus production and lack of adequate outlets are Odisha and Jharkhand.
The mines in these states are far away from ports. Odisha’s stockpile was nearly 84 mt and Jharkhand’s 38.8 mt, as of end-July 2016.