Mining

CSE deposes before Rajya Sabha panel, seeks people- and environment-friendly amendments

Deposition urges Parliament to stop revisions from resulting in exploitative mining

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Thursday 17 September 2015

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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:

 
  • Does the Bill make the local community partners in the mineral development of the country?
  • Does the Bill hold the promise to capture windfall profits from mining and share the wealth of mining with the local community, the state and the nation?
  • Does the Bill encourage and has the potential to steer the mining sector to adopt environment-friendly practices?
  • Does the Bill promote the development of a modern, scientifically advanced and efficient mining sector to fulfill the present and the future mineral needs of the country?
  • Does the Bill put in place the regulatory and the facilitative institutions for the transparent and accountable functioning of the mining sector?

 

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.

 


The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Ordinance, 2015

The Mines (Amendment) Bill, 2011

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