No dearth of iron ore in country: Govt

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New Delhi, Mar 16: With 152 million tonne production against consumption of 111 MT in 2013-14, there is no dearth of iron ore in the country, the government today informed Parliament.

However, the steel and mines ministry, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha admitted that there were regional shortages of input attributing the gap to the Supreme Court-imposed restrictions on lease renewals and cancellation of mines.

'No dearth of iron ore in country'

"There is sufficient production of iron ore to meet the current demand of the steel industry in the country. However, there are regional shortage of iron ore due to Supreme Court decisions regarding lease renewal in Goa and Odisha and cancellation of mining leases in Karnataka," Minister of State for Mines and Steel Vishnu Deo Sai said.

Sai said domestic production of iron ore was 169 MT in 2011-12 and 137 MT in 2012-13 against the consumption of 101 MT and 103 MT respectively.

The Minister said to increase value addition and improve iron ore availability for domestic steel industry, export duty on iron ore has been increased to 30 per cent. For exports of iron ore pellets, a 5 per cent export duty has been imposed. Replying to a separate question, he said the government has reduced Special Additional Duty on import of melting scrap of iron ore and steel from 4 per cent to 2 per cent in the Budget for 2015-16.

PTI

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