India’s plan to revive its flailing economy by boosting coal production is deeply flawed

Giving a boost to the mining sector, especially commercial coal mining, and bringing in reforms to attract more investment into the sector is the direction taken by the government in its announcements intended to revive the economy following the pandemic. But a boost to mining brings with it associated troubles such as land conflicts, run-ins with communities and an impact on the environment.

According to the official government data, India produces over 85 minerals including coal, lignite, bauxite, chromite, copper ore and concentrates, iron ore, lead and zinc concentrates, manganese ore, silver, diamond, limestone, phosphorite etc. India is the second-largest producer and importer of coal in the world. Over the decades, the value of mineral production has also risen and, as of 2015-’16, stands at around Rs 2.82 trillion. There are over 3,500 mining leases that are in force in the country across 23 states covering an area of 316,290.55 hectares

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