A joint venture of state-owned companies to acquire coal assets aboard, private steel firms such as Tata Steel, Essar, JSW, Is apt may pick up equity stakes in International Coal Ventures. The joint venture id formed for raw material security, while coking coal is required by steelmakers and non-coking coal is needed in power plants. It may be noted that as per the agreement now, SAIL and CIL would contribute Rs 1,000 crore of equity each for the new entity while RINL, NMDC, and NTPC would put is Rs 500 crore each.
Mr. Virbhadra Singh, the Steel Minister, on the sidelines of a FICCI event said “We recently put an export duty on iron ore (5 percent on fines and 15 percent on lumps). We hope that this will suffice to make more iron ore available for the domestic industry. But if it does not work then we will look to increase the export duty again”. Mr. Singh said “The Government will have to look at the question of exports (iron ore) differently by bringing in definite deterrence. This may be in the form of either prohibitive duty or quantitative restrictions”. Steel secretary Atul Chaturvedi said “We met Nippon Steel officials in Japan. We asked them if they can train our people (SAIL officials) and enhance their technical skills. We are keen to have such collaborations with them at present”. He added, “A deal between SAIL and Posco to set up steel plants in India under a joint venture could be signed in the next three-four months”.
The minister further added that apart from the option of hiking prevailing export duty, the government can also impose “quantitative restrictions” on exports of iron ore. Mr. Singh said “We recently put an export duty on iron ore (5 percent on fines and 15 percent on lumps). We hope that this will suffice to make more iron ore available for the domestic industry. But if it does not work then we will look to increase the export duty again”.