New Delhi [India], September 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging export of iron ore in pellet form by some private firms by evading export duty and sought direction to Centre to levy an export duty of 30 per cent on the export of iron ore in all forms including pellets.
A Bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli sought response from the Centre on the plea of NGO Common Cause and asked to file its affidavit within four weeks.
The NGO sought directions to the Centre to completely ban the export of iron ore, whether in the form of pellets or otherwise or in the alternative to levy an export duty of 30 per cent on the export of iron ore in all forms including pellets (except pellets manufactured and exported by KIOCL).
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, informed the top court about the judgements on mining and export of iron and contended that even a Parliamentary committee has said that export of iron ore should not be permitted at the cost of domestic companies.
"To discourage the iron ore export, imposition of 30 per cent export duty has been provided, however, the ore has been exported in pellet form without paying the duty," Bhushan said.
The PIL stated that mining companies illegally exporting huge quantities of iron ore in pellet form by avoiding the mandatory 30 per cent export duty that is levied on iron ore exports, cause huge loss to the public exchequer worth thousands of crores of rupees as well as result in a shortage of iron ore supply to the domestic steel industry.
It added that such illegal export of iron ore pellets have the ultimate effect of over-exploitation of natural resources adversely affecting the environment, and by allowing such illegal export of iron ore pellets to go unchecked, the government is infringing people's right to clean environment as well as the precautionary principle. (ANI)