Industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and the Odisha government oppose the centre's possible move to relax the export ban imposed earlier on iron ore.
In fact, Odisha governments wants the centre to ban ore export completely as it argues that a number of industries in the state are facing shortage of the raw material.
In order to boost ore supply to local industries, the state government even made it mandatory for mines to supply 50 per cent of their produce to domestic industries.
The mine owners subsequently lodged a complaint with the centre, which disapproved such a measure.
ASSOCHAM argues that any relaxation in export
restrictions on ore would adversely impact the prospects of India's steel industry, which is already reeling under severe crisis due to non-availability of iron ore for the last couple of years.
Steel firms are facing ore crunch owing to suspension of mining in Karnataka and Goa by the Supreme Court coupled with restrictions on undertaking mining activities in Odisha by the state government.
Union government wants to encourage export of iron ore to overcome the present crisis of current account deficit (CAD).
Referring to the CAD, ASSOCHAM said the problem could be addressed by 'reducing imports of finished steel and coking coal as India imported about eight million tonnes (mn t) of finished steel and about 35 mn t of coking coal worth about $5 billion and $7 billion respectively'.