The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has urged the government to withdraw a 30% export duty on iron ore with 58% or more iron content. In a pre-Budget memorandum to the finance ministry, the federation said due to high incidence of export duty, exports have nearly halved to 57.22 million tonne (MT) in 2020-21 compared with 117.37 MT in 2009-10.
There is no export duty on iron ore up to 58% iron content. The government abolished duty on such grade in the steel-making raw material in the Budget for 2016-17.
Export duty on ore above 58% iron content has been on the continuous rise. From nil duty in FY09, it went up to 5% in FY10 and then to 20% in March 2011 and finally to 30% in December 2011.
“Such high duty has rendered exports unviable,” FMI said.
As a result, mined ore is getting accumulated at the mine-heads, mainly in Jharkhand and Odisha. Most of the 121 MT iron ore lying at the mine-heads are in the grade of 58%-62% iron content.
All the mines of Goa, which have been exporting iron ore of less than 58% iron content, are closed since March 2018 and hence, no export of such iron ore is affected from Goa.
“Abolition of export duty on iron ore having more than 58% iron content will help in liquidating to a large extent of the huge stockpile of iron ore at mine-heads which will result in enhanced foreign exchange earnings besides more production of iron ore in the country,” FIMI said.