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tty indian trade unoins call for iron ore ban

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    Trade unions call for ban on iron ore exports

    Domestic steel industry consumes 55 mt; 105 mt exported


    The trade unions have also decided to hold a national convention on February 21 and 22 in Kolkata.


    Phalguna Jandhyala

    New Delhi, Feb. 19 The contentious issue of iron ore exports is once again in the limelight with trade unions working in the steel sector — CITU, INTUC, AITUC, HMS and the Officers Association — calling for a total ban on the export of iron ore in the interest of the domestic steel industry.

    According to sources, the trade unions have said that with high quality raw materials such as iron ore, lime stone, manganese ore, and with basic infrastructural facilities like roads, railways and port facilities within a radius of 300 km, the country has an edge in the manufacture of steel. “However, with the reckless export of iron ore going on, the commodity is likely to get exhausted by 2035.

    The estimation is as per the calculations done by the Government as well as by various private institutes, based on current domestic brownfield and greenfield expansions,” the source pointed out.

    As per Government estimates, India’s domestic steel production is likely to be around the 200-million tonne (mt) mark by 2020, while on the other hand, agencies like the Indian Iron and Steel Institute have quoted a much higher figure.

    Trade convention

    The trade unions have also decided to hold a national convention, which would be attended by around 74 trade union organisations, on February 21 and 22 in Kolkata.

    “As per industry data the domestic steel industry consumes only around 55 mt of iron ore whereas nearly 105 mt is exported. We feel that this is a short-sighted policy and the export of iron ore should be banned in the interest of domestic producers, especially with so much of investment coming into the sector,” he said.

    He also pointed out that the convention will discuss issues relating to the proposed National Mineral Policy (NMP).

    “The NMP should be evolved through a consensus on the basis of a sound and healthy relationship between the States, taking into the account their interests. Unfortunately this is not happening and the industry will debate on the issue in the convention,” he said.
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