Iron ore mining ban led to negative growth in cargo traffic

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Iron-ore cargos recorded negative growth of 13 per cent in 2013-14 mainly due to domestic mining ban on the commodity even as overall container traffic at the ports grew 5 per cent to 980.49 million tonnes, the Economic Survey said today.

"The traffic in iron ore recorded negative growth of 13 per cent primarily owing to a ban on mining iron ore," the pre-Budget Survey for 2013-14 said.

Supreme Court, in April this year, allowed an annual cap of 20 million tonnes of iron ore to be extracted in Goa which was banned by it in the state for nearly one-and-a-half years.

During 2013-14 major and non-major ports in India accomplished a total cargo throughput of around 980.49 million tonnes (MT) reflecting an increase of 5 per cent over 2012-13.

Any port with two or more berths and facilities and equipment capable of discharging 1,00,000 tonnes of cargo per month from ocean-going ships is a major port.

"This is due to an increase of 1.8 per cent or 555.49 million tonnes in the cargo handled at major ports," the survey said.

In contrast, the traffic at non-major ports grew at around 9.6 per cent during 2013-14 as compared to 9.8 per cent in 2012-13.

Traffic at non-major ports in 2013-14 rose to 425 MT from 387.87 MT in 2012-13.

During the year Ennore Port recorded the highest growth in traffic at 52.9 per cent and Marmugao the lowest at 33.7 per cent.

There are at present 12 major ports - Kolkata-Halida, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Ennore, Chennai, V O Chidambaranar (formerly Tuticorin), Kochi, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru (JNPT) and Kandla.

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