Thursday, July 05, 2007

the group of ministers (GoM) meets when they have to take important decisions. as elected representatives of people and also as policy makers accountable to Constitution they are supposed to make informed decision considering all aspects into account, especially those marginalised people on whose support they were elect and to whom they are answerable.

but the GoM meeting on mining seems to be more concerned about gdp, increasing mining area, investments in mining rather than anything else. even the usual rhetoric on human face is missing. how else can you justify some of following statements.

Currently only five per cent of the total 18.5 lakh sq km of mineral wealth available is being mined and this is the main reason why the sector contributes only 2.8 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) which includes contribution from fuels.
so the objective is to mine, mine and more mine. of the areas where mineral wealth are present, crucial forests, mountain ranges, tribal and marginalised people are also present. what is the policy angle on these ecosystem and people. simply to kick these out so that mining contribution to gdp increases and only money matters and nothing else is?

While the worldwide investment in the sector is close to $5 billion in India it is only $2 billion. This has to change and we hope that the scenario improves once the new policy is adopted
has GoM ever studied how mining is done in other parts of the world. how other countries especially developed countries treat their own people and ecosystems when it comes to mining. when GoM just looks at money figure, fake developments get priority and push compared to genuine and sustainable investments.

Dr Reddy also announced that environment clearances for mining relating issues would be made simpler in consultation with the Ministry of Environment & Forests so that the mining sector receives a large number of investment proposals.
and as usual, the wounded and weak MoEF will be arm-twisted and made to fall in line to okay the maniac investments that is being planned in mining sector.

when maniac growth at all costs is the goal of the policy makers, development of people - especially marginalised and rural people who depend on ecosystems that mining brutalises- has been and will be the first casualty.


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