New Delhi: Iron ore exports should be minimal so that the non-renewable raw material can be preserved for the local industry, steel secretary told a television channel on Wednesday.
“We don’t have any numbers in mind, but we want minimal exports to be done,” Atul Chaturvedi said on CNBC TV 18, highlighting the need to preserve the raw material to meet the country’s growing steel demand and infrastructure development.
On Tuesday, a Press Trust of India report carried in the Business Standard newspaper quoted Chaturvedi as saying a full ban on iron ore exports was needed.
Steel industry has frequently lobbied for a ban on iron ore export or at least for further raising the export duty on it so that more of the commodity is available for local use at low prices.
Government last raised the export duty on iron ore lumps to 15% in April from 10% earlier.
India exports about half of its total iron ore output mainly to China that houses the world’s largest steel industry. In the 2009-10 fiscal year that ended in March, the country produced 226 million tonnes of iron ore, compared with 215 million tonnes in the previous year, the mines ministry data showed.