Bangalore: In order to rebuild Karnataka’s mining industry, former state Lokayukata Justice Santosh Hegde today recommended a ban on all trade of iron ore, including export, and said the mineral should be reserved only for domestic consumption.
“There should be a change in the mining policy and minerals should be reserved for domestic consumption. Moreover, the major difficulty of mining industry in India will be solved if iron ore exports are banned,” he said at the ‘Oreteam’s Annual Conference’ here.
Hegde said the Supreme Court’s decision to stop mining in Karnataka will not affect the steel industry as mining has not been banned in other states.
“It is a temporary ban imposed by the apex court in three districts of Karnataka. The ban will be lifted once afforestation and conservation are taken care of,” he said.
Commenting over the concerns raised by the mining industry of job losses due to mining ban in the state, Hegde said the industry has to be realistic and understand that when illegality stops, those involved in the industry would suffer.
“You cannot then claim that our employment is gone because we were doing some illegal work. It is like saying when Dawood Ibrahim stops committing crime many of the family will lose jobs,” he said.
According to Hegde, loss to the state government due to illegal export of iron ore amounted to approximately Rs 12,228 crore.