Government to file affidavit with SC today objecting to export of iron ore

The state government decided to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Tuesday opposing the export of iron ore mined from Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumakuru mines. A Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai decided on Monday to stick to his old position of opposing the export of iron ore mined in the state’s mines. Given the history of iron ore in the state, the Minister for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, JC Madhuswamy said the government would oppose the export of ore from the state. The government banned the export of iron ore in 2011. The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Karnataka government to clarify its position on a plea by miners to allow the export of iron ore mined in Ballari mines, Chitradurga and Tumakuru. The Supreme Court asked Karnataka’s Additional Advocate General Nikhil Goel to brief the state’s position within the day as the court was told that a Cabinet meeting was scheduled to decide the matter. The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), Southern Region, expressed concern over the ban on the export of iron ore in the state and argued that: “Karnataka is the only state in the country where the ‘export is not allowed’. Karnataka produces 43 million tons of iron ore against the demand of 37 million tons per year by various dependent industries. The miners’ body urged the government to urgently intervene and facilitate a level playing field for the state’s iron ore mining sector by allowing free market forces to operate. The Cabinet decided to establish a Veterinary School (₹136 crore) at Puttur and a Textile Park at Shiggaon (₹25 crore) in Haveri District.