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Thursday, Dec 30, 2004

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`Misuse' of iron ore export policy: DGFT issues show-cause to 3 firms

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Dec. 29

THE Government is "actively considering" to restrict export of iron ore (above 62 per cent Fe) either through canalisation or other means in view of the "gross misuse" of the existing export policy by certain firms.

Currently, iron ore with less than 64 per cent Fe content is freely allowed to be exported under open general licence (OGL). Iron ore with 64 per cent Fe content and above is exported under licence or through MMTC.

An official release said that there were repeated complaints that "parties have been circumventing the policy provisions by declaring iron ore as below 64 per cent Fe content so as to export under OGL".

Following reports of gross misuse of the iron ore export policy and test checks having established instances of such misuse, the Government has issued show cause notices to three firms for violation of policy provisions relating to export of iron ore.

In the wake of complaints and representations, four special investigation teams of DGFT including members from the export inspection council (EIC) were deputed for collecting iron ore samples from the 4 different ports viz Mangalore, Haldia, Vishakapatnam and Paradip during November 4-11.

A total of 30 samples were collected by the four teams, which were sent for analysis to regional research laboratories (RRL). On receipt of the report, it was found that three of the firms were exporting iron ore above 64 per cent Fe without licences. Based on this, the DGFT has taken action by issuing show cause notices under the Foreign Trade (Development & Regulation) Act.

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