Goa today sent out its first export consignment of iron ore after the lifting of the mining ban in the state with Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar saying he would do everything possible to help the industry and also ask the Centre to remove a 10 per cent duty on these exports.
Flagging off the consignment being carried by the cargo ship MV Royal Sesa, the chief minister said, “I urge all stakeholders, like the truck owners and the barge owners, to not create obstacles in the export of iron ore. We need to get the industry up and running.”
The shipment of nearly 90,000 tons of 57 grade iron ore is being exported by Sesa Sterlite.
Assuring that he would do everything possible to facilitate the resumption of mining in the state, Parsekar said he will ask the Centre to remove the 10 per cent duty on export of minerals.
The removal of the duty would go a long way towards ensuring that the iron ore export industry is “more viable”, he said.
“We will ask the central government to withdraw this (export) duty,” he said.
The iron ore export duty stood at 30 per cent a year back and was reduced to 10 per cent upon the request of the iron ore export industry in the wake of a steep fall in global prices of the mineral.
The global price of 57 grade ore is currently USD 40 per ton.
The Centre had in March this year decided to revoke its earlier order suspending all environmental clearances (ECs) of mines in the coastal state.
Following the withdrawal of the suspension order, Goa government had said that the mining industry will resume operations immediately.
In September, 2012, the then Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan had suspended the ECs of mines in Goa for alleged violation of rules. Her decision came days after the report of the Justice MB Shah Commission spoke about illegalities in mining.
Following a Supreme Court order of April, 2014, state and central government authorities were asked to follow all regulations to get mining operations restarted. A cap of 20 million metric tonnes was set on mining.
Currently, miners in Goa have permission to mine around 13 million metric tonnes. At its peak, Goa’s mining industry was exporting 54 million metric tonnes per year.