Saturday, February 4, 2023

Centre support Karnataka miners in Supreme court on iron-ore export

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The Centre came in support of the miners from Karnataka in a plea before the Supreme Court to allow them exporting their stocks of iron ore, by informing that the situation has improved since the ban that was imposed in the state due to illegal mining and encroachment upon forest land..

Miners from Karnataka was supported and permitted to export their stocks of iron ore, the mines ministry informed the apex court that the situation has improved as manifested from various SC-appointed CEC reports, it stated.

As per the Central government, the amendments were made to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act changing the regulatory mechanism. The new rules provided for allocation through a transparent process of auction and stringent penal provision for effective deterrence, introduction of star ratings for sustainable mining and administrative measures by launching the mining surveillance system, including drone survey, it pointed out.

The response by the Central government’s came after the Apex top Court had asked it to clarify its stand on mining industry which was under stress. The mining companies had claimed that they were dying and facing closure due to their stocks not getting sold or receiving genuine prices due to ban on export in Karnataka while steel companies, on other hand, were importing iron ore and making huge profits.

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The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, Southern Chapter, had asked the SC to do away with e-auction norms for mining leases situated in the districts of Ballari, Tumakuru and Chitradurga districts.

The court room discussions that took place regarding the matter.

Sr Ad Dushyant Dave- the buyer can import and domestic iron ore producers can sell through e-auction. Mr Bhushan’s role has come to an end now when the judgment was passed in 2013.

Dave- there is one aspect, my lease has come to an end. But milord has protected me saying it Would be subject to this order, so far as Mineral Enterprises is concerned.

This order should be modified, iron ore is byproduct. There is no need for an affidavit of Ministry of Steel etc. the Govt has already granted a export, we are in a need of foreign exchange, the ban should be lifted.

Sr Adv Abhishek Manu Singhvi- now 4 reports of CEC says this not should go on. CEC reports, the pallets should be allowed to be exported. It’s ironic that Govt has reduced the duty on pallet export from 5 to 0, and in these three states there is a complete ban.

CJI- we also want lifting of ban!!

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CJI- Now suppose, if we allow to lift the ban, such a huge quantity will come in the market, what would be the situation?
Dave- it will increase the export and most of the countries want to buy.

There is a court order which allow the export of Iron Ore in certain circumstances. Average prices may be fixed…
CJI- We can’t do all that fixation of price etc.

As per the Policy there is no ban on legally extracted Iron Ore.
CJI- Mr Bhushan, some orders were passed, now almost 10-15 years have been passed. Now the protection of environment and sellers.

Bhushan- There is environmental concerns and the Inter Generational Activities. As per the report, the ban was imposed because of it would go on all the reserves were going to be over.

Bhushan- these are the resources of the people, not to be exploited for the profit of some mining company.
Dave- Let him file a petition against the Steel companies. Lecture going on.
CJI- Now the environmental aspect is over. Already extracted mineral is there.

CJI- that’s why we are very careful, in getting the report of CEC. We are looking at the extracted mineral which is on land. See when there is no restriction in other parts of the country then why should one be benefited.

Also Read: Centre support Karnataka miners in Supreme court on iron-ore export

Bhushan- Ministry of Steel throughout, say that there is a shortage of iron ore for domestic use. It should place the fact before this court.
CJI- According to him there is no need of export of Iron Ore, asked to Centre.

CJI- file the affidavit.
Bhushan- I will also file the response to CEC affidavit and Ministry of Steel affidavit.
CJI- Everybody should be equally treated.
Sibal- these Ore are used by steel industry, what happen is this Ore converted into pallet and steel.

Sibal- I represent the steel industry.
CJI- does it want a special privilege?
Sibal- What we are saying there is a iron ore on ground, why don’t put for e-auction? Put it to auction, if we don’t buy, then exported. Price in international is shot up by 4 times.

Sibal- they must put it to e-auction first, but the steel industry should not make the profit. The prices are 4 times now and that’s is why there are number of application. We file the affidavit and please take it after few days.

Sr Adv Singh- Steel industry are in desperate need of Ore. the requirement is 54.98 million ton per annum and actual availability is 30 million ton. There is no statement on oath…
CJI- this goes over head.

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CJI – What is your stand? Please don’t circulate the affidavit in media.
I have seen the affidavit in Deccan herald before it comes to me this morning!!

CJI- only two aspect, Steel Industry response, second the Environmental issue, and the aspect that if we allow there would be huge quantity available in the market what would be the impact of it?

CJI- We direct the Ministry of Steel to file its affidavit.

Dave- there is no ban of export on the import/export policy, the Steel Ministry has nothing to say milord. We are entitled now to reform ourselves. These are A & B mines here only not C mines.
Sr Dwivedi- the issue should be limited to what is lying on the ground.
CJI- We will appoint some judges to monitor all this. Let the Ministry of Steel file the affidavit.
Bhushan- Justice Hegde should be the perfect judge, as he was also served as a Lokayukta.

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