March 20, 2015 10:44 am Published by

Coal, Mining Bills remain stuck in technicalities

The Government fumbled as the CPI (M) moved an amendment in the Rajya Sabha against the discussion and passage of the Mines and Minerals Bill and proposing that it should be sent back to the select committee, headed by BJP leader Bhupinder Yadav.

The efforts to start discussion on the Bill got delayed by another day and the Deputy Chairman is expected to give a ruling on the CPI (M) leader P Rajeeve’s amendment, based on Rule 93(2) of the Rajya Sabha, on Friday.

In the amendment, Rajeeve argued that due procedures were not followed in the select committee as it failed to take the views of States, various ministries and trade unions on the Bill. The Finance Minister’s efforts to counter his arguments were checked by the members of the Congress, CPI (M), and JD (U).

The debate on the issue could not be completed as Congress members raised slogans against the alleged “undemocratic behaviour” of the Centre. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu requested the members to complete the discussion on Friday, otherwise the Budget session may have to be extended.

Finally, after a meeting of the floor leaders of various parties, it was decided that the discussion on both the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015 and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2015 can be started on Friday, but only after the ruling by the Chair. If the ruling favours the CPI (M)’s motion, it has to be put to vote.


KIOCL plans to set up beneficiation, pelletisation units in

Andhra Pradesh

KIOCL Ltd plans to invest ₹1,000-1,500 crore for developing mines and setting up beneficiation and pelletisation plants in Andhra Pradesh.

The Bengaluru-based public sector company had entered into a memorandum of understanding in 2013 with Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd for the project.

A team of officials from APMDC and KIOCL have completed preliminary survey and investigation of proposed mining activities for iron ore in Nemakallu and Hiradahulu villages in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

The beneficiation and pelletisation project, to be set up jointly by APMDC and KIOCL, is aimed at supplying pellets to Rashtriya Ispat.

The Andhra Pradesh Government is set to recommend the application of APMDC for prospecting licence to the Union Ministry of Mines. Thereafter, APMDC and KIOCL will carry out exploration for iron ore reserves.

At a meeting called for by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Malay Chatterjee, Chairman and Managing Director of KIOCL, said the project proposes to install beneficiation and pelletisation plants with a capacity of 1.2 million tonnes a year, each depending on the availability of iron ore at the mine site.

The KIOCL official also mentioned that the project could provide direct and indirect employment to about 3,500 people, besides promoting ancillary industries in the area.

The venture of APMDC, KIOCL and Rashtriya Ispat would also implement several welfare measures to develop the surrounding area, thereby benefiting the backward district of Anantapur.


Sugar exports hit by lower price, weak Brazilian currency

Sugar millers in the country have said that they are not in a position to sign any big export deals unless prices are not increased by about 10 per cent to 14.4 cents per pound, the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) said.

“The global prices are so low that raw sugar exports are not viable despite the incentives,” Mr A. Vellayan, President of ISMA, said.

He further said that struggle to sell sugar was weighing on the mills’ ability to pay sugarcane farmers’ dues of around Rs 15,000 crore ($ 2.39 billion).

Meanwhile, sugar exporters in Pune said the country’s sugar exports could be hit by weak Brazilian currency, coupled with reports of a bumper crop and an excess in world markets.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference an official said, “India is expected to produce around 26 million tonnes (mt) of sugar with domestic consumption at 25 mt with a stockpile of 6-7 mt from the last season. At this point, one can expect some 1.5 mt of raw sugar export. But no forward contracts are happening.”

With devaluation and a bumper crop, Brazil would always remain ahead. In spite of very high interest rates, low recovery, higher freight and transit period, Brazil maintains 3 mt exports per month, another leading sugar exporter opined.



Wheat exports likely to tumble

 Wheat exports are likely to tumble in the next year to a 4-year low of 1.5 million tonnes (mt), as global prices weaken exports from the country, market analysts said.

 According to them, wheat harvest in the country was expected to be at 95.8 mt in 2014-15, close to the record 95.9 mt in 2013-14.


Govt okays KPt’s plan to set up port-based multi-product SEZ

at Kandla & Tuna

The Kandla Port Trust (KPT) has received approval from the Union government to establish a port-based multi-product special economic zone (SEZ) at Kandla and Tuna in a total area of 5,000 hectares. Once it materialises, waterfront-based industries could come up in Kandla, official sources said.

 Industries utilising imported raw materials, exporting finished products, and despatching shipments using water transport for domestic markets near sea ports and the coastal belt would be able to save in logistics cost.

The port-based multi-product SEZ would also help fertiliser industries importing MOP, phosphoric acid and ammonia as trading companies dealing with them can import large volumes in Capesize and Panamax vessels. The cargo can be loaded on to barges and directly unloaded at their plants. Later, they can despatch bagged fertiliser through water transport and save substantial amount in transportation.

Similarly, if power plants are set up, they can import coal using Capesize vessels. Besides, floating cranes and barges can provide total cost-effective solutions.

Steel industries can also import iron ore and coal in large volumes.

As the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, is very keen on developing industries in the Kutch region, cement industries have been allotted limestone mines in Jakhau/Koteshwar, which is 180 km from Kandla Port by road and 104 nautical miles by sea.

 These cement industries would get the opportunity to move their cargo expeditiously from Kandla Port if they put up their crushing and packing plants in the SEZ.

Each industry has own captive barge jetties at their plants, from where they can despatch clinker by barges to Kandla Port. Since their unit is waterfront-based, the barges can directly unload clinker on to the jetties for crushing and bagging cement.

From the Kandla unit, these industries can move any volume they want to by road, rail or coastal movement for exports.

These industries, whose barges are registered under class IV, and were thus far used only for lighterage purpose at ports, are now allowed by the DG Shipping to be used for moving cargo to the neighbouring ports during the day.

EU may export more wheat after fall in euro


The European Union proposes to export more wheat after a fall in the euro against the dollar. But traders feel that buying by the Middle East may be restricted due to lower crude prices.


“The outlook for EU wheat exports is excellent with Russia and Ukraine imposing export restrictions and the weak euro giving a strong price lead against the US. But some Middle East importing countries seem to have good stocks while the fall in crude oil prices is cutting their purchasing power,” a trader in Germany said.

The European Union gave export licences for 1.59 million tonnes of soft wheat, the second-largest weekly volume ever awarded by the bloc following the record 1.67 million tonnes in February.

The EU has exported large quantities of wheat to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and non-traditional Asian clients, including South Korea.






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