Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 05/2015

Mines and Minerals Bill: Disempowering the community

Himanshu Upadhyaya

March 2015

Oxfam Publishing


For over five years, the central government has been in the process of framing and enacting new legislation to develop and regulate India’s mines and minerals. However, within the span of less than two months the NDA government published an Ordinance both introducing and passing a new version of a Bill in both Houses of Parliament. The Bill provides a legal framework to regulate the mining sector. However, there are many gaps in the provisions in the Bill including the central government being in charge of permitting leases for increasing the area limits for mining, 'affected persons' and 'reasonable compensation' being loosely defined terms within the Bill, and the timeframe for leases has not been updated since the 1947 Act. This policy brief provides recomendations regarding these crucial aspects which question the government’s stated intent of protecting the interests of India's indigenous populations.