New Policy To Accord Top Priority To Movement Of Iron-ore Traffic For Domestic Manufacturing

New Policy To Accord Top Priority To Movement Of Iron-ore Traffic For Domestic ManufacturingIron ore being mined at Pissurle, Goa (Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint via Getty Images)
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  • As per the new policy, higher priority will be given to the movement of iron-ore traffic for domestic manufacturing activity.

    Within the domestic movement of iron-ore traffic, priority preference will be given to steel, pig iron, sponge iron, pellet, or sinter plant owning customers having their own private sidings at both the loading as well as unloading ends.

With the dual aim of meeting the present day needs of customers and providing total logistics support to the steel industry, a new iron-ore policy governing allocation of rakes (entire train sets) and transportation has been framed by Indian Railways.

Keeping the global and domestic challenges in mind, the "Iron-ore Policy 2021", firmed up by the public transporter, shall come into effect from February 10 this year.

The new policy sets down clear guidelines on ways to fully meet the requirements of customers by leveraging infrastructure facilities available at loading and unloading ends.

As per the new policy, higher priority will be given to the movement of iron-ore traffic for domestic manufacturing activity. Within the domestic movement of iron-ore traffic, priority preference will be given to steel, pig iron, sponge iron, pellet, or sinter plant owning customers having their own private sidings at both the loading as well as unloading ends.

They will be followed by customers with private siding at either loading or unloading end. For customers without any private siding of their own relying totally on public good sheds, sidings will come next in the priority list.

Railways maintained that the landmark policy decision is to help the Iron and steel industry.

Production of steel is critically dependent on transportation of iron and other raw materials. The policy sets down clear guidelines on how to fully meet the requirement of customers by leveraging infrastructure facilities available at loading and unloading ends to the fullest.

The provisions of the new policy will be updated in the Rake Allotment System module by CRIS.

According to railways, old and new plants will be treated similarly as far as allotment/loading of rakes is concerned.

Categorization of Priority of movement of Iron Ore has now been based on the availability of Railway infrastructure developed by the customer for loading/unloading and the nature of movement between various types of sidings with a view to maximize iron-ore movement by rail.

The new policy envisages that the priority preferences for the customers will be self-generated by the system (Rake allotment scheme) based on customer profile (name of manufacture, consignor name, consignee name, fed in the system by the concerning zone.

New poicy aims to ensure higher priority given to movement of iron-ore traffic for domestic manufacturing activity.

It also allows free choice to customers for moving their traffic as per eligibility and necessity. No permission is required to be obtained for choosing priorities or combination of priorities.

Under contractual traffic, customers are free now to place indents as per their requirement.

With the aim to facilitate ‘Ease of doing business’ scrutiny of documentation by Railways has been removed.

Customers now desirous of moving their traffic under any priority will have to give undertaking that they have procured, transported and utilized materials as per rules and regulations of Central and State Governments.

For lapses, customers will be liable for action as per the law of land and railways will stand indemnified for any such lapses committed by customers.

Iron-ore is the second most important stream of traffic of Railways and along with steel accounts for nearly 17 per cent (53.81 MT of steel and 153.35 MT of iron ore) of total 1210 million tonne freight loading of railways in 2019-20.

The new Iron-ore Policy is expected to have a positive impact on the steel industry, provide powerful impetus to the core sector of the economy and boost the country's economic growth.

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