MAC: Mines and Communities

Vedanta increases its iron grip

Published by MAC on 2007-05-03

Vedanta increases its iron grip

3rd May 2007

Last week the Indian goverment announced that it would cut the duty on iron ore exports, imposed in February, so that even more of it can be exported - especially to China which had earlier kicked up a protest about the new rates.

Is it purely a coincidence that Vedanta took over Sesa Goa (India's biggest iron ore exporter) just over a week ago, and that its old friend (and former Vedanta director) finance minister P D Chidambaram was the one to make the concession?

The earlier rationale for imposing higher duties was to ensure that India's iron ore reserves weren't plundered even further without bringing benefit to the country. And now that's gone out of the window.

Meanwhile, an article in India's largest circulation environmental magazine, Down to Earth, describes the devastation which the "iron rush" is already having in Goa - and which will now inevitably increase.

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