Hike in export duty on iron ore to 30 per cent and higher railway freight for overseas-bound raw material have affected India’s competitiveness in overseas markets, the Commerce Ministry informed Parliament on Wednesday.

“The increase in export duty of iron ore to 30 per cent with effect from December 30, 2011 and higher railway freight for export of iron ore compared to the freight for domestic movement of iron ore have affected competitiveness of Indian ore exports, thereby reducing overall exports of iron ore”, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said in the Rajya Sabha.

India’s exports of iron ore, a crucial raw material for iron-making, have been shrinking gradually from 117.37 million tonnes (MT) in 2009-10 to 18.37 MT last fiscal.

The country exported 97.66 MT iron ore in 2010-11 and 61.74 MT in 2011-12.

Mr. Sharma, in response to a question on decline in iron ore export from Goa, said the share of the western state in overall exports have gone down to 57.93 per cent in 2012-13 from 70.10 per cent a year ago due to ban on mining or movement of the raw material.

“The percentage share of iron ore exports from Goa declined during 2012-13 compared to previous years’ trend mainly on account of ban on mining/movement of iron ore from April, 2012 imposed by the state government of Goa”, he said.

The Supreme Court had on October 5, 2012 also ordered suspension of all mining operations including transportation in Goa.

“Iron ore from Karnataka state also stopped arriving at Goa due to restrictions in mining operations and transportation imposed by the Supreme Court”, he said.

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