Not satisfied with the proposed export duty cut to 10%, producers of low-grade iron ore in Goa said on Thursday the government should have removed the duty on ore with less than 58% ‘fe content’ to help industry survive the sluggish global prices.
They also highlighted the need for merging the Goa Mineral Development Fund for which they now pay 10% of the sales value with the proposed District Mineral Foundations.
“The export duty cut will provide some relief, but the GMDF and DMF should be merged as the two are overlapping,” said Shivanand Salgaokar, the managing director, VM Salgaokar Group of Companies.
Rajagopal Krishna Kumar, CEO of Vedanta’s iron ore business, hailed the move, but echoed Salgaokar’s voice, saying a lot of issues are yet to be resolved.
Miners’ body FIMI’s secretary general RK Sharma said, “I doubt whether the export duty reduction to 10% will accrue any benefit to Goan miners, particularly in the present depressed market for such ores. Even after this, they will have to pay duties and taxes totaling to 52% and that does include freight and other charges. The government could have done away with the export duty altogether.”
Miners in Goa used to export around 45 million tonne of low-grade iron ore mainly to China before a mining ban was effected in the state in 2012. Though the ban has been removed, production in the state is unlikely to take off before monsoon ends in October.