Chhattisgarh Chief Minister met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and sought a package of Rs. 4,000 crore for the state in the upcoming Budget
The Dollar Business Bureau
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh hailed the Centre’s decision to impose the minimum import price (MIP) on steel and suggested that an increase in export duty on iron ore will also encourage the use of mineral in in-house manufacturing and reduce the country’s dependency on imported metal products.
On Tuesday, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and sought a package of Rs. 4,000 crore for the state in the upcoming Budget.
Singh said that implementing minimum import price (MIP) on steel will boost the Indian economy. “He (Raman Singh) suggested that an increase in export duty on iron ore from current 10% will encourage value-addition of the mineral within the country,” the state government said in a statement on Tuesday.
The mineral-rich state has been seeking export curb on iron ore to restrict the supply of the mineral to global steel producers and help domestic metal producers. Mining of iron ore in Chhattisgarh is mainly carried out by NMDC Ltd— a central government PSU (public sector unit).
Although a large amount of iron ore from Chhattisgarh is consumed by domestic units, part of the mineral extract also goes to overseas markets. Increased supply of iron ore which is used as a raw material for steel makes the final product cheaper, affecting the Indian steel producers who have been battling a price war in the global market.
The Chief Minister also expressed concern over decreasing competitiveness of the mining sector and sought tax exemption for downstream mining industry.
“The arrangement of giving 30% of royalty to mineral development fund has been hampering the competitiveness of mining industry,” the statement said, adding that the state has suggested “the expenditure on corporate social responsibility by mining and its downstream manufacturing industries should be exempted from income tax.”
In order to make cheap raw material available for steel producing units in the state, the chief minister urged the Union Finance Minister to allow the import of scrap metal at the inland container depot in Raipur.
On Tuesday, the state also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Railways for the setting up of a joint venture company between the Centre and the state government for the development of railway infrastructure.
The agreement came days after the Union cabinet gave its nod to the Railway Ministry’s Budget proposal to form joint venture companies with states for mobilising funds, acquiring land, and implementing and monitoring projects.
So far, 17 state governments have given consent to form joint venture companies with the Ministry of Railways for the development of rail infrastructure in their respective states. Apart from Chhattisgargh, the ministry has already signed MoUs with the governments of Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and the Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh at the signing ceremony of a MoU for formation of JV Company, in New Delhi on Tuesday
February 10, 2015 | 2:04pm IST.