KIOCL slams Assocham demand on imposing duty on pellet exports

Economic Times reported that state owned pellet manufacturer KIOCL slammed industry body Assocham for proposing imposition of export duty on the value added product of iron ore, terming the claim that it would improve availability as baseless and incorrect.

Mr Malay Chatterjee CMD of KIOCL said that "As the largest state owned pellet manufacturer in the country, we strongly oppose any move to impose export duty on pellets. The claim made by Assocham that export duty would improve availability of pellets within the country is baseless and incorrect."

Mr Chatterjee said countering Assocham claims said that "Very little pellet export has taken place subsequent to levy of Distance Based Charge by railways on iron ore transported through railway network meant for manufacture and export of pellets. This levy has rendered pellets produced in India totally unviable in the international market."

Last week, Assocham wrote to Finance Minister Mr P Chidambarm alleging that domestic iron ore producers were taking advantage of zero export duty on the key steel making raw material and circumventing exports through pellets as there was hardly any value addition in conversion of iron ore fines to pellets.

While both fines and lumps varieties of iron ore currently attract 30% export duty, there is nil duty on pellet exports.

India had exported 2.1 lakh tonne of pellets during 2011-12 and did not make any exports during 2012-13. In fact, India imported pellets as the price of imported pellets were more attractive. India imported 8 lakh tonne of pellets during 2011-12 and 14.7 lakh tonne during 2012-13.