‘Government favouring private sector companies and MNCs’

The Steel Workers’ Federation of India (SWFI), affiliated to the CITU, has demanded that the Union government impose a blanket ban on iron ore exports from the country instead of merely continuing with the 30 per cent export duty in the Union Budget 2013-14.

Addressing a press conference at the CITU office here on Friday, federation general secretary P.K. Das said that levying 30 per cent duty on exports would not be a de-motivating factor for continuing with iron ore exports.

Mr. Das said that one ton of iron ore in the international market was fetching them Rs. 7,000 but the exporters were projecting a distorted figure of Rs. 1,000 per ton.

The exporters would still gain handsomely even after paying export duty. Unless the government imposed a total ban on exports the ultimate objective stands defeated.

The Union government had created a piquant situation by denying captive iron ore mines to steel producers like Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) and allotting the same to foreign firms like the South Korean Posco which has been allocated captive iron ore mines in Odisha. These companies would not set up steel plants in the country but divert the precious iron ore to foreign lands. Even if it did it would do so on a small scale.

The giant steel producer like VSP has been left to the mercy of iron ore suppliers, resulting in increase in production cost in the face of stiff competition, Mr. Das maintained.

SWFI meet

SWFI general secretary said that a conference of Trade Union International and Metals and Mining, a wing of the World Federation of Trade Unions, would be held in the city on April 16-17 to discuss various problems of the working class world wide.