The steel ministrys strategic advisory body has said that export levels of iron ore need to be lowered to 15-20 per cent from the current 50-55 per cent,in order to safeguard the competitiveness of the domestic steel industry.
In its recommendations to the draft National Steel Policy 2012,the Economic Research Unit (ERU) of the ministry has reasoned that given the possibility of early exhaustion of iron ore,the government must constitute an inter-ministerial panel to draw a road map for phased reduction of ore exports.
It said that the government should discourage iron ore exports and take a more liberal and open approach in granting iron ore mining concessions,to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to feed the growing demand for the mineral within the country.
At the same time the ERU said that the government should ensure that there is no over supply of ore leading to large scale exports.
There is a need for formulation of long term security and development plan for the Indian steel industry, the advisory body said.
To facilitate adequate availability of iron ore resources,the steel ministry should help in removing barriers to inter-state movement of iron ore and develop a comprehensive policy on allocation of ore mines to steel producers on captive basis.
The ERU suggested that the Centre should institute a single window for all statutory clearances through a coordination mechanism but albeit with enhanced decision making powers,it pointed out.
The ERU said there is a need to insert provisions in the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Bill 2012 for securing the supplies of iron ore to upcoming and existing steel projects either through allocation of captive mines or assured long term linkages from other sources.