Mining Industry in India sits at the
threshold of a disaster. Contribution of mining to GDP continues on a negative
growth trend; India has started importing iron ore replacing huge exports;
steel industry is struggling to get sufficient ore to run steel plants;
aluminium smelters are unable to meet their requirement of bauxite; power
plants and other industries are choking for want of coal; construction industry
is struggling to get aggregate and sand. All this despite the country sitting
on huge reserves of these minerals. The country’s economy is showing results of
these issues- poor balance of payments situation, high fiscal deficit coupled
with high rate of inflation, declining manufacturing growth, etc. As a country,
we need to understand what’s causing all this.
By virtue of mining being a risky venture
and involving allocation of precious natural resources, it has the potential of
creating wealth out of earth. This potential has a flip side- illegal mining
and social and environmental degradation. Various courts, including the apex
court of the country, have passed orders on mining and related social, forest
and environmental matters. The government’s typical reaction has been to put
out more laws and make existing laws more stringent. The questions which need
to be asked include-
What is the
effectiveness of these laws and regulations governing the mining industry in
How well are the laws
administered? Are there any duplications, overlaps and gaps in these laws and
the multiple agencies which are required to enforce these?
Do these laws and
enforcement agencies actually serve the purpose of promoting sustainable mining
or are counter-productive?
How should the law
evolve for the mining sector to address various issues which will result in
mining creating wealth for the nation while still being able to serve the
social and environmental agenda?
Ø This Summit, therefore, aims to discuss various laws and regulations and
answer these questions in the backdrop of international situation. Various
stakeholders, including government agencies, regulators, mine owners, mine and
environmental mangers, civil society organisations and legislators/judiciary
are expected to come together on this platform to deliberate on these very
important issues at a turning point in the Indian Mining History.