Government rises duty on iron ore export
New Delhi, Mar 11 : The Indian government on Monday said duty on export of iron ore has been increased to 30pc to improve availability of iron ore for the domestic iron and steel industry at affordable price and also to encourage domestic value addition.
"Import of critical raw materials for steel industry such as coking coal, non-coking coal, scrap etc. is subject to zero or very low customs duty," said Minister of State for Commerce & Industry D Purandeswari in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
He said state-owned steel-making company Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has been allocated iron ore mines, coal mines and flux mines for captive use.
"The company is meeting its iron ore requirement through captive sources. Due to limited availability of coking coal of desired quality from indigenous sources, about 75% of its requirement of coking coal is presently being met through imports and the rest through captive mines and domestic sources," the minister said.
"Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) has long term arrangements for supply of iron ore from NMDC Limited and with international suppliers for supply of coal. Therefore, supply of raw material has not been adversely affecting the production capacity of these public sector steel companies," he said.
Purandeswari said the steel industry is a de-regulated sector and business decisions including acquisition of mines abroad, are taken by the individual companies as per their requirement. Ministry of Steel has no role in the business decisions of the individual companies.
"NMDC limited is presently not in negotiation for acquisition of coal and iron ore mines, in Brazil or in any other country. However, NMDC is examining some proposals for acquisition of coal and iron ore mines in Brazil and other countries to diversify its mining operations," he said.
"A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) namely International Coal Ventures (P) Limited (ICVL) has been set up for the purpose of acquisition of coal assets abroad. The promoter companies of ICVL are Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Coal India Limited (CIL), Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), NMDC Limited and NTPC Limited," said Purandeswari.
The main target countries of ICVL are Australia, Indonesia, Mozambique, USA and Canada. Apart from above, ICVL is also examining proposals of coal assets from Colombia, South Africa and Russia, he said.