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Iron ore exports from India seen falling to 8-year low

Because of higher costs and slow efforts in a key state to resume shipments Iron ore exports from India are likely to fall by more than a quarter to their lowest level in eight years because of higher costs and slow efforts in a key state to resume shipments, a Reuters poll showed.Iron ore sales from the world's third-largest exporter are forecast to fall to 71.25 million tonnes in the current year to next March, from 95 million tonnes in the previous year, according to the median estimate in a Reuters poll of 10 iron ore miners, exporters and analysts.That would be the lowest export volume since 2003/04 when shipments stood at 62.57 million tonnes."More tariffs and higher costs along with outright bans will further limit exports," said an iron ore trader with an international brokerage based in London.Tight Indian supplies are expected to keep spot iron ore prices <.IO62-CNI=SI> firm, along with strong demand from top steel producer China. Prices of the steelmaking ingredient rose to record highs above $190 a tonne in mid-February.India's Karnataka state, which accounts for about a quarter of the country's iron ore exports, banned shipments in July last year to curb illegal mining. In ...

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Armed guard cover on Indian ships on high seas in the offing

Complaints of shipping firms and guards being harassed by port authorities To combat piracy, the shipping ministry has issued an order to all Indian ports to allow foreign ships to touch base with their armed guards.Earlier, there were several complaints of shipping firms and guards being harassed by port authorities and other officials in case fire weapons were found on guards.Sources said though foreign ships used to get armed guards on board, they either used to drop their weapons in the sea or hid them in their vessels before entering into Indian ports. Usually, the ministry of external affairs had to be roped in to settle the disputes.Now, the ministry's initiative envisages allowing Indian shipping firms to deploy armed security guards in vessels passing through the piracy-infested zone on high seas. The ministry is considering deployment of armed guards on board to reduce chances of pirates taking over the vessels."If we wait for an amendment to the Private Security Guards Act by the home ministry, there would be much delay. So to avoid procedural hurdles, we will soon issue the order specifying the parameter for security agencies, who could supply trained guards. Ex-armymen are likely to be preferred for the ...

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India and Mozambique agreement for maritime security

To make Indian Ocean a safe region for maritime trade India and Mozambique have agreed to work together on the issue of maritime security so as to make Indian Ocean a safe region for maritime trade.This was agreed to during the delegation level talks between the visiting Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyussi and Defence Minister AK Antony on June 28. Nyussi thanked India for the help rendered by Indian Navy in the rescue of a Mozambican shipping vessel from pirates off the Mozambican coast last year. The issue of piracy off the East Coast of Africa prominently figured during talks between the two leaders.Both sides had a fruitful discussion on various bilateral defence cooperation issues. A number of fresh areas for cooperation were identified to enhance and strengthen the existing bilateral relation between the two countries.The Mozambican Defence Minister also met Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh and the Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall NAK Browne. During his five-day visit he will visit key defence installations including the Western Naval Command in Mumbai, National Defence Academy and Armed Forces Medical College in Pune ...

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Five stranded fishermen arrive from India after Somali pirates ordeal

They put the blame on the government Amidst a shower of rose petals, loud cheering and applause, five fishermen, who had been stranded in India for almost four months, were welcomed by their families when they returned home on Monday night.The five, Sajjad and Auragzeb from Karachi, Farhad Rind Baloch and Lal Bux from Kakrand, district Thatta, and Mohammad Umair from Mirpurkhas, came home after seven months - the first three spent in the captivity of the Somali pirates and the later in the custody of Indian police officials.Dozens of people, many of them belonging to the native villages of the sailors in interior Sindh, thronged the Karachi Airport to receive the men, who came home after spending nearly four months at the Yellow Gate police station in Mumbai.A delighted Sajjad Hussain speaking to The News had all praise for the Indian government. "It was the Indian Navy which rescued us, the Indian government gave us food and shelter, and the Indian media highlighted our issue."Talking about his ordeal amongst the pirates, Hussain said that the Somalis had captured them in a bid to use them as bait when capturing naval ships. "The pirates had planned to push us forward ...

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India and Mozambique to Discuss Piracy

Cooperation in training and maritime patrolling Mr. Filipe Jacinto Nyussi, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Mozambique, arrives in New Delhi on Monday, June 27, 2011 on a five day visit to India. He will be accompanied by a five member high level delegation.During his stay, Mr.Nyussi will hold talks with the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony and the Service Chiefs. He will visit key defence installations including the Western Naval Command in Mumbai, National Defence Academy and Armed Forces Medical College in Pune besides the prestigious Army Research & Referral Hospital in New Delhi.Cooperation in training and maritime patrolling are expected to dominate the talks between the two sides. The issue of piracy off the East Coast of Africa will figure prominently during the talks between the two ministers.India and Mozambique have enjoyed traditionally close and friendly relations. In March, 2006 the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation. Subsequently, two meetings of the Joint Defence Working Group were held in 2008 and 2010.The scope of the MoU covers all the three Services, envisaging cooperation in the field of military technical cooperation, logistic support and training. It also deals with joint activities include maritime ...

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Huge demand for oil and commodities is expected in China and India

Urbanization in China and India may move about 500 million people in 20 years Albanian Minerals President and CEO Sahit Muja said "The unprecedented urbanization in China and India will double the population of cities in 20 years"."China and India may move about 500 million people in urban areas in 20 years, this will be the larges migration in world's history".Mr Sahit Muja said "Boosting demand for housing and commercial real estate is threaten India's and China's food security.China and India is reducing the area available for growing crops and grazing animals needed to feed the world's most populous countries".Albanian Minerals President and CEO Sahit Muja said "Demand for food and water is expected to increase dramatically in China and India.Demand for crude oil, natural gas , gold, copper, aluminum, nickel, lead, ferrochrome, steel, iron ore, chrome ore, aluminum and other metal and natural resources is likely to go up 500% in 20 years".China and India spends billions of dollars developing new cities, power plants, roads, high-speed rail networks and airports to accommodate the masses move.China has move more than 300 million people into urban areas in the past three decades .India has move more than 200 million people in ...

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India calls for international efforts to tackle piracy

There is a need for a combined effort by the United Nations India on Monday called for international efforts under the United Nations to tackle sea piracy, saying it may "not be easy" to help fight the menace otherwise."Unless there is a combined effort by the United Nations, it will not be easy to defeat this threat of piracy. Though all the major navies of the world including those of the U.S., UK, France, China and Russia are involved, without such an international effort, it will be difficult to tackle the issue," Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony told media.The minister said after being pressured by the international forces, Somali pirates are moving towards India."In the last 12 months, there have been more than a dozen attempts by the pirates mostly around the Lakshadweep area after which the Navy and the Coast guard have strengthened their presence and increased surveillance there," he said.Source: Xinhua

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Armed guards on Indian merchant vessels to be applied soon

The process is going on In view of the piracy attempts on merchant vessels, the Directorate-General of Shipping will soon issue a notification allowing armed security guards on board Indian merchant vessels."The process is going on. The draft notification will be issued in 3-4 weeks," Director-General of Shipping S.B. Agnihotri said here on Saturday. He was addressing a meeting to mark the first year celebrations of the 'Day of Seafarer'. It will be celebrated on June 25 every year.Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral NirmalVerma said: "A policy for deploying armed security guards on Indian flagged ships is being examined by the government."Union Minister for Shipping G.K. Vasan, who was the chief guest, announced welfare initiatives for seafarers. "It is proposed to start a contributory scheme by the SPFO so that seafarers are assured of a monthly income."Biometric identity cards would be issued to all seafarers. "The Ministry is also thinking of increasing the amount of monthly ex-gratia monetary scheme . We will extend it to all categories," Mr. Vasan said. "We are also considering giving income tax exemption to seafarers. It is under consideration with the Finance Ministry."The Minister said a grievance redress day would be held every six ...

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Indians uneasy as China builds ports nearby

The two countries have a history of border disputes This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world - through investments, infrastructure, military power and more.As China flexes its economic and military muscle, it's bumping elbows with Asia's other big and fast-growing power: India.China's hunger for energy from the Middle East and resources from Africa brings it into the Indian Ocean. And some defense analysts in India are watching uneasily as China develops commercial ports in some of India's neighbor countries.To understand India's concerns about China, it helps to remember that the two countries have a history of border disputes, and that they fought a brief but ferocious war over territory in 1962.Indian Concerns Over 'String Of Pearls'Long-time members of India's military establishment spend a lot of time thinking about China's new military, and its strategic aims.Arun Kumar Singh, a retired Indian vice admiral, habitually refers to China's military as "he.""He wants to keep us in a state of imbalance, because he wants us to be boxed up in South Asia, though we are the second-largest and possibly the largest, or the fastest-growing economy in the world today," Singh says.As a navy man, ...

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India to provide finance to coastal shipping companies

For developing shipping in Kerala A draft report on a strategy for developing coastal shipping in Kerala has suggested that the State government, through the Maritime State Development Council, appeal to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banks to provide finance at concessional rates to coastal shipping companies for a limited period.The draft of the study, prepared by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Private Limited, said that shipping required heavy investments and opened up higher risks as a result of which banks were averse to financing shipping companies.The study highlighted that there had been a long-standing demand for a dedicated coastal shipping fund, arranging corpus for which was a big challenge.The State government should incorporate this in its agenda and try for financial assistance from the Union government.The study suggested the setting up of a State-level specialised financial institution on the lines of IL&FS or IDFC to finance maritime sector.The Union government had not conceded a demand to remove duty on bunker used by vessels on coastal service, the study said. It pointed out that Kerala had cut value added tax (VAT) rate from 12.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent for bunker supplied to foreign vessels at the liquid ...

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