Increase investment, enhance iron ore pellet exports: Sharma

Tags: News
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today made a case for enhancing exports of iron ore pellets to further reduce the country's current account deficit.

"You (industry) have to built the capacities. That is where investments have to come in. Once you have more capacities, you will export (more)," he said at the India Today Conclave here.

The minister said export of iron ore pellets account for only 1.25 per cent of the total installed capacity of India. "So we are encouraging (export)," he added.

Recently, pressing for withdrawal of 5 per cent duty on export of iron ore pellets, Sharma had said that the move would discourage shipments of value-added products.

He said that India has one of the largest iron ore reserves in the world but due to some problems, the country is not mining enough.

The minister said increase in imports of iron ore and coal have put additional burden on India's CAD. "These were avoidable imports which actually burdened our CAD," he added.

The government had imposed restrictions on imports of gold to contain the CAD, which touched a record high of USD 88.2 billion in 2012-13. The CAD in the current financial year is expected to narrow to USD 50 billion.

Sharma further said that Indian economy needs to grow at a higher rate to create more jobs and boost manufacturing sector.

"India cannot afford but to reach 8-9 per cent GDP growth and we have the capability to do that. For this to achieve, manufacturing must grow at double digit," Sharma said.

The Commerce Minister also rubbished the allegations of policy paralysis in the government and said that they have announced a major national manufacturing policy in 2011. The policy aims at creating 100 million jobs and increasing share of manufacturing sector in the Indian GDP.

The government has already notified 16 national investment and manufacturing zones till now under the policy and a single window mechanism has been created to give clearances to the players interested in setting up units in these zones, he said.

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