Deposition urges Parliament to stop revisions from resulting in exploitative mining
The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill (MMDR) 2015 will not resolve outstanding issues of the mining sector, Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said in its deposition before the Rajya Sabha Select Committee. It will instead increase the marginalisation of local people, mainly tribals, and also harm the environment.
CSE told the committee on March 14 that MMDR Bill 2011 had moved ahead from 1957 by attempting to balance mineral extraction with the interests of people and environment. But MMDR 2015 is one-sided, it said, as the Bill protects the interests of miners; increases revenue for states; but does little to protect the interests of people and environment.
CSE drew attention to five major objectives of the mining sector which the government must take into account:
CSE also said that the MMDR Amendment Bill, 2015, must be considered along with other ongoing regulatory reforms—the proposed changes in Land Bill, 2015, and the report of the High Level Committee of the environment ministry chaired by T S R Subramanian, suggesting revisions in all major environmental laws.
“While, the MMDR Bill, 2015, discourages consultation, excludes affected people and reduces the benefit that local communities can get from the mining sector, the Land Bill removes the clause requiring community consent, and the Subramanian Committee report recommends fast-tracking of environment and forest clearances for mining projects,” the deposition said. “If we join all dots, we are back to where we started in 1990. An era of exploitative mining, which will not balance the conflicting interests of affected communities or environment and forests.”
Click here to read the full deposition of the Centre for Science and Environment.
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