Mines Minister Dinsha Patel has asked Finance Minister P Chidambaram to withdraw the recently levied 5 per cent export duty on iron ore pellets following representation from the industry.

Before him, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Coal and Steel had also recommended to roll back the export duty that was imposed on January 27.

“I shall be grateful if the petition of PMAI receives your personal attention and 5 per cent export duty on iron ore pellets is withdrawn at the earliest, which will go a long way in protecting the interest of the industry,” Patel said in his letter written yesterday to Chidambaram.

The Mines Minister wrote to the Finance Minister after receiving a representation from the Pellet Manufacturers’ Association of India (PMAI).

The PMAI had expressed apprehension that about Rs 35,000 crore investments would become non-performing assets due to the export duty as domestic demand is too low and most of the manufacturers are running at less than 50 per cent capacity due to lower demand.