labels: industry - general, steel, economy - general
India should export steel not ore, says Jairam Rameshnews
15 September 2006

Chennai: The union minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh, has said that India must take a strategic view that to be a major exporter of finished steel and not iron ore by the end of XI Plan period (2012). According to him, India exports about 60 per cent of its iron-ore production and earns over $4 billion.

Speaking at the valedictory function of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Indian Institute of Metals, New Delhi he said, "The dollar earnings are very small proportion of overall merchandise exports but iron ore exports form a crucial element of our bilateral trade with China. Nearly 48 per cent of India's total exports to China are of iron ore."

However, he said that it will be difficult to stop exports in the short run as India has long- term contracts with Japan and South Korea as well.

He said, as India moves to reach its goal of producing 100-million tonnes of steel locally, the availability of high-grade ore to the domestic steel industry must increase. "Exports would then not a feasible option. It is also necessary to conserve high-grade iron ore which, is at present, being exported in substantial quantities."

He called upon the stakeholders to come together and agree to a larger national perspective in this area so that value-addition takes place in India and employment is also generated in the country.

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India should export steel not ore, says Jairam Ramesh