Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has recently said that the Mines Ministry would move the apex court seeking relaxation in some of the orders passed on iron ore mining in Goa and Karnataka.

Ban on iron ore mining in Goa and Karnataka is not only hurting the economy but has rendered as many as 1 lakh people jobless, Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal on Wednesday said.

“Paralysis in iron ore mining hurting industries and people sentiments, has put Goa and Karnataka economy in shambles, leaving 100,000 jobless,” Mr. Agarwal tweeted on Wednesday.

The tweet comes against a backdrop of the mining ban hitting the two States hard. The government has already said it is keen on starting ore mining and exports.

Vedanta group has been in the business of iron ore mining & exports for more than 50 years. As per the company, it has been producing, prior ban, about 20 million tonnes of iron ore.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has recently said that the Mines Ministry would move the apex court seeking relaxation in some of the orders passed on iron ore mining in Goa and Karnataka. In April, the Supreme Court partially lifted the ban on mines in Karnataka.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also made a case for increasing exports of iron and other ores.

Before the ban, India was exporting iron ore worth over $ 7 billion, making it the third-largest global exporter.

However, after the 2011 Supreme Court ban on exports of most categories, the shipments plunged to 18.37 million tonnes in 2012-13 from 117.4 million tonnes in 2009-2010.

Miners body FIMI has already warned that exports would be likely in single-digits this fiscal.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma too has said that mining is an important industrial activity and India has huge exportable surplus even after meeting the demands of the domestic industry. He also said that mining creates employment for a large number of people.

The Supreme Court ban last year in September came in the wake of the Karnataka Lokayukta report about irregularities in the sector and was extended to Goa, effectively stopping exports from that state too, based on a report by its Central Empowered Committee.

As per reports, the ban on iron ore mining has adversely impacted economic activities in Goa and also the collection of import and export duties. Realisation from import and export duties in April-October this fiscal slipped to Rs 457.4 crore from Rs 1,605.51 crore in the same period last year.

The realisation from export duty, which had been the major contributor of revenue, slipped to a meagre Rs 14.85 crore during the seven-month period as compared to Rs 1,166.63 crore in the same period last fiscal.

The export duty on iron ore, which is levied at 30 per cent, has been the major source of revenue for the state. The central government had collected as much as Rs 3,714.18 crore as export duty during 2011-12, raising the total duty realisation from the state to Rs 4,527.96 crore.

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