Supreme Court seeks Steel Ministry’s Response to Petitions to allow Exports in Karnataka

Supreme Court Law Insider

Khushi Doshi

Published on: April 12, 2022 at 18:09 IST

The Supreme Court sought the Steel Ministry’s position on requests to lift the 2011 Ban on the export of iron ore extracted from Karnataka Mines.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana also asked the parties to inform it of the likely consequences of allowing all unsold ore to flood the market.

The Bench, which also included Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli, was hearing a slew of Applications seeking to lift the Ban and remove the requirement that the extracted ore be sold only through E-auction.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing on behalf of the Mining Companies, stated that the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) had also supported the export request. According to the Central Empowered Committee Report, the Supreme Court order on E-auction, Export Ban, and Mining Cap should be lifted.

Rohatgi stated that the Restrictions were imposed by the Supreme Court due to rampant illegal mining and a lack of ore in the domestic market, and that the situation has since changed.

When he was Karnataka Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde stated that at the current rate of mining, all of Karnataka’s iron ore resources would be depleted in 30-40 years. Following that, the Supreme Court, which had imposed a cap of 30 million tonnes, increased it to 35 million tonnes.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared on behalf of the Non-Governmental Organization Samaj Parivartan Samuday, stated that there are two concerns: Environmental Protection and Intergenerational Equity.

According to Senior Advocate Krishnan Venugopal, the effect of the restrictions is such that one steel-producing company receives 98 percent of the iron ore from the state and profits handsomely.

Dave added that there is no Export Ban under the Import-Export Policy, and the steel industry cannot say otherwise.

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