NRI steel tycoon LN Mittal has said that India should restrict export of iron ore but allow companies to sell lower quality ore overseas.
"There is plenty of iron ore in India but we should restrict export growth of higher FE (ferrous) content ore and allow ore containing lower FE," Mittal told a group of Indian journalists in Luxembourg last week in reply to a question.
His remarks come against the backdrop of chief ministers of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh suggesting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 27 last year that export of iron ore should be frozen at the current level and work out a mechanism to slash them gradually.
Their view ran counter to the recommendations of the Anwarul Hoda Committee that iron ore export can go on for 10 years.
The chief ministers of the three ore-rich states favoured meeting of raw material needs of the existing as well as new steel plants coming up there and in other parts of India.
Mittal has signed an agreement with Orissa for setting up a 12 million tonne steel plant, while the fate of his company's identical project in Jharkhand hangs in balance over supplies of raw materials.