Iron ore exports from Karnataka may resume after several years as the two key agencies that have long opposed the shipments citing rising demand for the key input for steel from domestic manufacturers have relented.
As the Union steel ministry, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, supported lifting the ban on iron ore exports from the state, the apex court on Monday asked the Karnataka government to clarify its stand by submitting its “Cabinet decision on resumption of exports from the state”. The state government, which has so far opposed any exports, said it was ‘reviewing’ its stand.
While reserving its judgment, a Bench led by Chief Justice Ramanna told the Karanataka government: “Please submit the cabinet decision of the state also and submit it before tomorrow. Say in yes or no. Nothing in between.”
The apex court also said it will pass an order on whether miners can sell their ore through modes other than e-auction, which the court had mandated earlier. The CJI also raised concerns on how the situation would be dealt with if the ban is lifted. “Suppose we allow e-auction then who will monitor the quantity being sold, etc,” he said, while hinting at appointing a committee to look into enforcement issues.