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Logic for mining policy

Calcutta, Jan. 8: Capexil — an organisation of exporters promoting trade in chemical and allied products, including minerals and ores — today sought the immediate formulation of a national mining policy in view of a sharp fall in mineral exports.

Exports of minerals fell 50.48 per cent to $3.5 billion during April-November 2012 from $5.04 billion in the year-ago period.

The non-mineral sector fared better with exports growing to $5.09 billion from $4.75 billion. Capexil said aggregate exports in chemicals and allied products fell over 10 per cent in the first six months of 2012-13 compared with the previous year.

“The dip in exports is because of the mineral segment. There is a general declining trend. Unless a national mining policy is decided on, the situation will remain the same. This will accord greater clarity to the mining sector. Illegal mining is an issue. The export duty on iron ore should be removed and environmental clearance should be given fast,” said C. K. Somany, chairman of Capexil.

He was speaking at a meeting of Capexil’s committee of administration.

The committee has sought fiscal incentives from the commerce ministry and proposed simplification of procedures to access global markets competitively.

Total exports of mineral and ore, and non-mineral products by the end of this fiscal are estimated at $8.86 billion and $8.2 billion, respectively.

On whether there was any intimation from the Centre on the formulation of a mining policy prior to the budget, Somany said, “We definitely expect something before the budget. We have already made a representation. Hopefully, something should happen within March 31.”

 
 
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