India planning to hike iron ore export duty further

The government is likely to increase the export duty on iron ore further from the current 20-per cent in a bid to discourage exports and help domestic steel production.

The country continued to export around 50 per cent of its iron ore production during the past three years even as imports of finished steel into the country continued to outstrip its exports, minister for steel Beni Prasad Verma told the Lok Sabha today.

"We have increased the export duty from five per cent to 20 per cent. We may increase it further," Verma said.

He said under the present export policy of the government, export of all iron ore of Fe content up to 64 per cent is freely allowed.

India exported 105.86 mt (49.7 per cent) of the 212.96 million tonnes of iron ore produced in 2008-09 while it exported 117.37 million tonnes (53.7 per cent) of the 218.64 million tonnes ore produced in 2009-10.

Iron ore exports from the country in 2010-11 are estimated at 97.66 million tonnes (46.9 per cent) while production stood at 208.11 million tonnes, he said.