NEW DELHI: The mines ministry has disagreed with the Justice Shah committee suggestion of banning exports of iron ore and manganese ore to check illegal mining, saying that the export of minerals is guided by policy, and it has referred the matter to the ministry of commerce.
Mr Justice M B Shah Commission of enquiry, which went into illegal mining of iron ore and manganese ore, had advocated ban on export of these minerals running into billions of rupees and warned that such activities could influence state policies besides promoting illegal mining.
The ministry of mines, while referring the issue to the department of commerce has differed with the commission view and said exports cannot be held as the reason for illegal mining, rather it is “lack of governance” at state government levels which has largely contributed to illegal mining.
“Export of 92 per cent of iron ore fines to China to fulfil its requirements, led to increase in illegal mining… This has increased menace of mafia controlling mining activities … It has given unimaginable huge profits,” the Justice Shah Commission has said in its first interim report.
Suggesting a ban on exports to conserve the mineral for future, the government-appointed commission has said exports not only increases illegal activities but “because of money power it influences state policies”.
The report said, “It would be difficult to break unholy nexus between law keepers and law breakers because the corruption is likely to flourish.”
The ministry of mines, however, in its action taken report on recommendations has differed from commission suggestion. “The ministry is of the view that a ban on export of iron ore may not be feasible,” it said adding exports are guided by export-import policy under the ministry of commerce.