INDUSTRY UPDATES On 4th October, 2012


INDUSTRY UPDATES
On 4th October, 2012
STEEL, METALS AND MINING
Goa government against resumption of mining activity in near future
In a move that spells further trouble for mining industry in Goa, the Manohar Parrikar government has decided not to allow mining activity until findings of the Public Accounts Committee and Justice M B Shah Commission on illegalities are dealt with in accordance with law.

The government has stated this resolve in a confidential Cabinet Note circulated to its members, the copy of which is with PTI.

Goa government temporarily suspended all mining activities in the state last month, after an expert panel formed by the federal government found "serious illegalities and irregularities" in mining operations. There's however no ban on the movement of iron ore already produced and stored at ports or in transit.

"State government has proposed not to permit resumption of mining in the State of Goa, till such time as the findings of the Public Accounts Committee and Justice Shah Commission of Inquiry, are adequately remedied and dealt with in accordance with Law," the note reads.

As per the note, the decision about non-resumption is based on the legal opinion given by the state Advocate General.

A high-level meeting chaired by chief minister Manohar Parrikar decided not to withdraw the suspension till the issues raised by the two committees are taken to their logical end.

Parrikar was the Leader of Opposition when the PAC headed by him exposed largescale illegalities and irregularities in state's iron ore mining industry. A few months later, Justice M B Shah Commission in its report tabled on the floor of the House echoed similar observations.

The state government yesterday appointed Justice (retd) R M Khandeparkar Committee to investigate the illegalities cited by the Shah panel in its report.
(Economic Times)

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COAL
RON ORE
Indian iron ore mining mess - 63 iron ore mines can resume ops

Central Empowered Committee informed the Supreme Court on Friday that mining operations in 63 iron ore leases falling in category B in Karnataka may be allowed to be resumed after fulfilment of certain conditions.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appointed amicus curiae in the case, told the forest bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam that the iron ore mines falling into category B can be allowed to resume quarrying activists after completion of the reclamation and rehabilitation (R&R) work and paying appropriate compensation for the massive ecological loss caused by them due to largescale illegal mining.

The CEC has recommended that the 63 category B leases, in the state’s Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts, must pay compensation at the rate of INR 5 crores per hectare of area under illegal mining pits and INR 1 crore per hectare of area under illegal mining over burden dumps, roads, offices, etc, outside the sanctioned area. The recommended amount is minimum base figure for compensation and the National Green Tribunal or another appropriate authority can be approached for more compensation for environmental damage, the CEC report added.

The CEC has put the leases of the iron ore mines into A, B and C categories based on the level of illegalities and irregularities allegedly resorted by them.
(Steel Guru)
Resumption of Iron ore export from Goa to be delayed
The iron ore export from Goa would not resume today contrary to expectations, as the state Mines and Geology Department was still verifying the quantum of ore lying at jetties. Director, Mines and Geology, Prasanna Acharya told that several teams were on the job verifying the quantum of ore, and subsequently there would be inspection of mining sites.


"It will be difficult to restart the exports today....it will be possible only after the total (quantity of) ore is verified," Acharya said. The state government suspended all the 90 mining licenses recently following recommendation of Justice M B Shah commission which probed illegal mining in Goa.

Only the export of ore already lying at the jetties and mining sites was allowed, after its legality and quantum was ascertained. Assistant Director, Mines, Parag Nagarcekar told that mining companies had claimed that total of 52.97 lakh million metric tonnes of ore was lying at 50 jetties.

The official teams had inspected 38 jetties till now, putting the amount of ore lying there at 13.56 lakh MT, Nagarcekar said, adding that inspection will continue this week too.
(Economic Times)

CEMENT

AGRICULTURE
Edible oil imports may surge in 2012-13 
THE deficient monsoon may result in an increase in edible oil imports during 2012-13 to keep up with the surging demand, a senior industry official said. 
Edible oil imports during 2012-13 are expected to touch 103.1 lakh tonnes (lt), as compared to 97.8 lt in 2011-12, according to Mr Govindbhai G. Patel, Managing Partner of independent crop research firm G. G. Patel & Nikhil Research Co.
(Exim India)
Govt likely to curb rice, wheat, sugar & cotton exports 
The export policy for rice, wheat, sugar and cotton may soon be revised and export of these commodities curbed until full harvest and end of the festive season. They are currently exported under Open General Licence (OGL), wherein no permission is required. 
The Department of Food and Consumer Affairs has reportedly strongly objected to the free commercial export of rice, wheat and sugar, given their high prices in the domestic market, official sources said. 
They disclosed that it has been recommended to restrict the free export of rice for the rest of the current financial year. Basmati, however, would be exempted as it is grown mainly for export. 
Earlier, sugar exports had been banned due to a domestic price surge. The Ministry has now recommended a ban on export till December, at least, when the festive demand is over and the second harvest arrives in the market. 
The Ministry of Textiles is also said to have recommended a ban on cotton export until domestic market conditions improve. 
The free export policy would come to an end within a month, sources said.
(Exim India)
FERTILISERS
Iffco, Zuari, Coromandel and Tata Chemicals support Kelkar committee suggestion of revising urea Prices
The revision in prices of the key crop nutrient urea as suggested by the Kelkar Committee will not only help in restoring soil mineral balance but will also reduce government's subsidy burden, feel fertiliser companies.

Major fertiliser producers like IFFCO, Zuari, Coromandel and Tata ChemicalsBSE 1.19 % are of the view that an upward revision in the prices of the important nitrogenous soil nutrient is the need of the hour.

They say it will help in reducing the price gap between urea and the phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertilisers.

The committee on roadmap for fiscal consolidation, headed by former Finance Commission Chairman Vijay Kelkar, has recommended said "the most urgent reform required on the fertiliser subsidy front is revision in the price of urea".

This will not only reduce the subsidy burden but would also reduce the unsustainable imbalance in the current consumption pattern of fertiliser in the country. This is most necessary from the viewpoint of long term soil quality and agricultural productivity, the report added.

Welcoming the report, India's largest farmer cooperative IFFCO's Managing Director U S Awasthi told PTI that raising urea prices will help in improving soil productivity and stop misuse.

"Presently urea is priced at about Rs 5.30 a kilo, while even the common salt is Rs 12 per kg. It is so badly under priced that the soil nutrient is being misused," he added.

Echoing similar views, Coromandel International Managing Director Kapil Mehan said: "It is a reform that is already overdue. This is a step in the right direction. We need to step up this process and merge the gap in the retail prices of urea and P&K fertilisers".

Suresh Krishnan, Managing Director of Zuari Holdings, said that revising urea prices will help in restoring soil mineral balance.

"It is quite important that the price correction happens", he said.
(Economic Times)

ENERGY 

SHIPPING, TRADE AND TRANSPORT
Cochin port to get ship repair facility by December

Cochin Shipyard Limited will start a ship repair and maintenance facility at Cochin port by the end of this year.

The Centre has already granted approval to the INR 750 crore project. At the recently concluded ‘Emerging Kerala’ summit, CSL and the Cochin Port Trust handed over the documents in this regard. The port trust will provide around 45 acres (having 850 metre water front) of land on Willingdon Island, and the existing workshop complex, including buildings and machinery, on a lease basis to CSL. Around 230 employees of CPT will also be transferred to CSL.

Sources said that with the existing facilities, CSL can commence operations by December this year.

The facility will be positioned as a ‘Modern Ship Repair Yard of International Standard’ for maintenance, repair and overhaul of small and medium size vessels.

Based on a detailed project report, the port had formulated a conceptual plan envisaging leasing out of its underutilised workshop complex, including the dry dock and slipway, for 30 years. It had invited global tenders for this in 2011.
(Steel Guru)


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