Mumbai: The steel ministry has proposed a 5 percentage point hike in export duty on iron ore - from 15 per cent currently to 20 per cent.
"We have recommended a hike of five percentage point in duty of iron ore and the matter is with finance ministry for consideration," minister for steel Ram Vilas Paswan said.
Paswan was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of MSTC Ltd's tricycle distribution function to physically and mentally challenged persons to mark its 45th foundation day celebrations.
Indian steel firms have been demanding a duty hike to 35 per cent to help increase domestic supplies and lower prices.
The minister said he personally preferred an export) ban on high quality iron ore with ferrous content of 62 per cent and above, at least till the domestic demand is met.
On rising steel prices, Paswan said while steel prices should come down, he was unable to comment on ''how far'' should prices come down.
''If the profit of steel companies is higher than 15 per cent then there is no reason why steel companies should hike prices," he said, adding, in the international markets also prices have been coming down in the recent past. There is no reason Indian steel should cost more, he pointed out.