Karnataka may set terms for iron ore exports

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Karnataka is set to allow exports of iron ore from the State, following the recent directive from the Supreme Court. However, the State may impose certain conditions while allowing exports.

“The consignments should resume by the month-end. The State Government will decide on issuing export permits within a fortnight,” said Mr Srinivasa H.R, Director, Karnataka's Department of Mines and Geology.

However, sources told Business Line that the State is likely to impose certain conditions on exporters with regard to the quantum and mode of transport of iron ore. Keen to minimise the damage to infrastructure such as roads due to the movement of iron ore from mine pitheads to various ports, the State may stipulate conditions such as movement of specific quantity of iron ore through the Railways.

Such a move would also help curb pollution in smaller towns and cities along the highways, sources said. The State may also restrict the quantum of exports to ensure that enough raw material was available for local steel producers.

Karnataka, which accounts for a third of India's iron ore shipments, had banned the exports last July as part of strategy to curb illegal mining. The ban pulled down the country's iron ore exports by 13 per cent to 83 million tonnes in fiscal 2011 over previous year.

The State, in a bid to regulate mining, has already notified the Karnataka Prevention of Illegal Mining and Transportation Rules, 2011.

The new rules stipulate that minerals have to be transported only under a valid mineral despatch permit and vehicles be fitted with Geographical Positioning Systems and radio frequency identification devices.

They also make it mandatory for permit holders to file monthly returns, which shall be reconciled on a quarterly basis. The State is automating the process of issuing permits and has roped in nCode Solutions, the IT arm of Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertiliser Company, for the initiative.

“We have stopped issuing normal transport permits from May 10. We will be issuing e-permits to exporters registered with us, once the State decides onexports,” Mr Srinivasa said

 

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