Governance of mining in India: responding to policy deficits
The reform in the minerals sector has been in response to both global and national pressures. Internationally, there was a need for India to make credible commitments to the world that it would do things differently in terms of approval, transparency, greater efficiency, more incentives to attract investment in exploration, and development activity. Nationally, there was need for greater exploration information; improved allocation processes; increased resource revenues from mineral rich states; and greater compensation for externalities created by mining. Over the last few years new initiatives have been put in place. The National Mineral Policy (NMP) and the Minerals and Metals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill have sought to address many of the industry and community concerns and also the issue of graft by making the process of allocation and clearances more transparent and less discretionary. The Policy and the Bill have many pro-people clauses that relate to benefit sharing, minimizing the ecological footprint, improved participation in decision-making and grievance redressal mechanisms.