Steel companies in Karnataka have fixed iron ore stocks in the State at 2.24 million tonnes as compared to 6.5 million tonne as claimed by the miners.
In the year 2017-18, miners in the State produced 27.65 million tonne of ore and sold 27.89 million tonne through e-auction. In 2018-19, they produced 28.49 million tonne and sold 26.25 million tonne, resulting in an inventory of 2.24 million tonne.
The inventories are lying largely with the Karnataka State Mineral Corporation (formerly Mysore Minerals) and Sesa Goa each holding about 1.5 million tonne and with Minerals Enterprises about 0.6 million tonne.
In the year 2018-19, steel industry has shown an outstanding performance despite the following challenges:
demand, raw material prices and availability;
increasing imports and declining exports; and
post general elections-fresh government policy measures.
The crude steel production at 107 million tonne increased by 3.3%.
Total steel imports at 8.8 MT went up by 5% and steel exports at 8.5 MT dropped down by 26%, resulting in India becoming a net importer in 2018-19. The finished steel consumption in 2018-19 at 97.5 MT has shown a healthy growth of 7.5% due to the rising demand from the construction and infrastructure sectors, automobile, engineering goods and consumer durables.
Of the total steel exports, India exports around 69.5% of steel to Nepal, Italy, Vietnam, the UAE, Belgium, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain and Sri Lanka.
The following factors have prompted Indian exporters to look for neighbouring countries like South-east Asia, the UAE and Vietnam for export of steel:
Trade restrictions imposed by the United States;
duty hike of 25% on all steel imports to the US;
definitive safeguard duty imposed by the European Unions on all imports; and
Conversion of duties to quota based trade.
Apart from a general 25% duty on steel, the US has imposed 10% duty on $200 billion Chinese manufacturing exports to the US and the duty would rise to 25% in the event of no trade pact with China.
After an outstanding coal output of 600 million tonne in 2018-19, Coal India is investing on space technology and mobile apps to control pilferage and illegal mining.
The company has introduced the Coal Mining Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) portal. This system was developed by the coal ministry in coordination with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo-informatics and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology
The system can scan a region of 100 meters around the existing coalfield boundary to identify any unusual activity.
The CMSMS is also designed to provide other important information like reclamation work which is being monitored by CMPDI , a subsidiary of Coal India, using satellite data. The status of environmental and forest clearances are also linked for information in this system.