Iron ore exporters demand withdrawal of enhanced duty

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Panaji, Jul 1 (UNI) Two iron ore export magnates have urged the Centre to withdraw the recent hike of 15 per cent ad valorem duty on the exports of iron ore to save the economy of Goa from being crippled.

Goa Mineral Ore Exports Association president Shivanand Salgaocar said the hike in duty would make exports unviable forcing the miners to either reduce mining or stop exports affecting the state economy, besides adding to the pollution.

The state produces mostly low-grade iron ore, which is not utilised by the steel industry, as most of them have their own captive mines.

The bid to save the indigenous steel industry does not serve any purpose as the industry utilises high grade ore for making steel.

The industry in Goa had invested huge amount of money in mining and beneficiation technologies and had been exporting iron ore to China to meet its jacking up demand.

The duty hike, he said, would further burden the mining industry, which had already been feeling the pinch due to increased costs of mining, handling and transportation.

Chairman of the Dempo Group of companies Srinivas Dempo and Sesa Goa Managing Director P K Chatterjee also joined chorus with Salgaocar, saying the miners were ready to serve the steel industry if the latter was ready to consume low grade ore. The remaining could be exported.

The hike would affect 12,000 directly employed people and 30,000 others, indirectly employed, in the industry besides thousands of others employed in ancillary industries, they added.


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