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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Indian steel ministry seeks decision to stop NMDC iron ore

Tuesday, 27 Dec 2011

The Indian Express reported that armed with the CAG’s observations that NMDC’s iron ore exports to Japanese Steel Mills and South Korea was needless in view of growing domestic demand, the Indian steel ministry has decided to ask the union cabinet to reconsider its decision on mandating NMDC to export the mineral.

The official quoted the Chattisgarh chief minister as saying that “The chief minister said if NMDC had not exported ore to these two nations, at least 3 million tonne of additional iron ore would have been available to the state’s ore-starved sponge iron units.”

The official said that “Actually, we also have been opposing these exports from the beginning and had already conveyed our concerns to the commerce ministry, at whose behest the cabinet had okayed NMDC’s continuation of exports (till 2014). We will tell firmly that exports to these two nations are unsustainable at long term prices as it amounted to subsidizing their steel production.”

The official added that “We have decided to approach the Union Cabinet soon to re consider its decision to mandate NMDC to renew its long-term agreements with these two nations, which is bereft of any logic.”

The Comptroller and Auditor General in its recent observations to the steel ministry, had said that NMDC has been mandated to exports iron ore to Japanese steel mills and South Korea but made to overlook the domestic demand for the mineral. The CAG has questioned the mandate.

The move also comes close on the heels of the I-T department who hit out the Navratna company for losing substantial revenues by exporting to Japanese steel mills on long term prices and not through a more viable spot prices. A senior steel ministry official told The Indian Express that “The Income Tax Department has also questioned NMDC’s exports to these two countries on long term prices. It says the PSU has incurred substantial financial losses by not selling the mineral on spot prices.”

(Sourced from

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