Displacement

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Imagining a Post-Development Era? Critical thought, Development and Social Movements by Arturo Escobar is a paper, which gives a fair idea of debates on developments till 1960s and afterwards. This is an important reading for a deeper understanding of evolution of concepts of developments in last few decades. As there is a cause and effect relationship between development projects and displacement, therefore while looking into the issue of displacement it is desirable to have an understanding of this whole debate on development.

Main Points:

    * Nowadays it has become difficult to talk about development with the same confidence and encompassing scope with which intellectuals and activists spoke about these vital matters in the past decades. Now there are differing views. When one speaks about development, other voices emphasize on the "crisis of development". The "new social actors" and "new social movements" are raising fundamental questions on the conventional sense of development.

    * To examine development as discourse requires understanding why so many countries started to see themselves as underdeveloped, and, how "to develop" became for them a fundamental problem.

    * In the previous period, from the early post-War years to the end of the 1970s, development was chiefly a matter of capital, technology, and education and the appropriate policy and planning mechanisms to successfully combine these elements.

    * Resistance, on the other hand, was primarily a class issue and a question of imperialism. Nowadays, even imperialism and class are thought to be the object of innumerable mediations. Now we come across new ways of thinking on these issues, especially in relation to social movements.

    * With the emergence of the new critique it is being argued that development has been an invention and strategy produced by the "First World" about the "underdevelopment" of the "Third World." Largely, it has been an instrument of economic control over the physical and social reality of much of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

    * These schools of thought now are now advocating for "alternatives to development" that needs transformation of the notions of development, modernity and the economy.

    * The number of scholars in the Third World says that rather than searching for development alternatives, there is a need to go for the "alternatives to development," that is, a rejection of the entire earlier paradigm.

    * In the Third World the process of needs interpretation and satisfaction is inextricably linked to the development apparatus. The "basic human needs" strategy, pushed by the World Bank and adopted by most international agencies, has played a crucial role in this regard. However, the critics say that this strategy is based on a liberal human rights discourse and on the rational, scientific assessment and measurement of "needs"; lacking a significant link to people's everyday experience, and "basic human needs" discourse does not foster greater political participation.

    * This paper argues that the possibility for redefining development rests largely with the action of social movements. Though the paper in most of its parts has discussed the Latin American experiences, it has significance for whole Third World.

The main provisions under Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR Act) are as follows:
http://mines.gov.in/policy/noticeapril.pdf
http://www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/draft/Draft%20Mines%
20and%20Minerals%20Bill_31%20March%202010.pdf


A background and critique:
http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2714/stories/2010071627140
2500.htm


    * The 1957 Act has outlived its utility despite the several amendments made to it up to 1999. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation Act, 1957, came into force at a time when governments required much discretionary power to regulate a nascent mining sector. The rise of the market economy in the early 1990s brought about a fundamental change in the government's attitude to mining.

    * The National Mineral Policy, 1993, recognised the need to encourage private investment, including foreign direct investment (FDI), and to attract state-of-the-art technology in the mineral sector.

    * Mining is a three-stage operation, involving regional exploration, detailed exploration, and actual mining.

    * Procedural delay was identified as one of the impediments in encouraging the flow of private investment and in the introduction of high-end technology for exploration and mining. The Anwarul Hoda Committee, constituted by the Planning Commission in 2005, in its report submitted in 2006 made specific recommendations on the legal framework to avoid procedural delay.

    * The New Mining Policy (NMP) 2008, while reflecting these recommendations, also sought to develop a sustainable framework for optimum utilisation of mineral resources for industrial growth and for improving the life of people living in the mining areas.

    * The proposed Act makes significant departures from the existing Act in areas that were seen as instances of micromanagement.

    * As per the proposed Act, the union Ministry for mines and minerals give up its "prior approval" power in grant of concessions for minerals in Part C of the First Schedule. In the proposed Act, Part C includes 74 major minerals, while Part A includes coal and lignite and Part B atomic minerals. Part C of the First Schedule of the existing Act includes only 10 metallic and non-metallic minerals.

    * The proposed Act envisages the setting up of a national mining tribunal, which can check independently decisions as also indecision and delays. It gives more teeth to the Indian Bureau of Mines to regulate the mining plan and mine closure and empowers the Central government to enforce disclosure through databases and websites.

    * The draft Bill allows the setting up of a national mineral royalty commission with State governments as members, for progressive solutions for revenue-sharing through royalty.

    * The proposed Act provides for stringent measures to prevent illegal mining. It empowers State governments to detect, prevent and prosecute cases of illegal mining, set up special courts to try such cases and declare those convicted as ineligible for grant of mining concessions.

    * One of the consistent demands of the steel industry has been the reservation of mineral-bearing areas for public sector undertakings. The proposed Act rejects this demand, consistent with the Hoda Committee's recommendation that reservation goes against the principles of providing a level playing field.

    * The draft Bill guarantees assured annuity to the local population as a percentage of profits (26 per cent) earned by the miner, resettlement and rehabilitation of the local population through employment and skill enhancement.

    * It also provides for compulsory consultation with gram sabha/district panchayats in tribal areas before notification of the area for grant of concessions, and preference to tribal cooperatives in the grant of concessions over small deposits.

According to a report named SEZs and land acquisition FACTSHEET FOR AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL ECONOMIC POLICY Prepared by Citizens' Research Collective
http://www.sacw.net/Nation/sezland_eng.pdf

SEZ - DISPLACEMENT AND LOSS OF LIVELIHOODS

    * Estimates show that close to 114,000 farming households (each household on an average comprising five members) and an additional 82,000 farm worker families who are dependent upon these farms for their livelihoods, will be displaced.

    * In other words, at least 10 lakh (1,000,000) people who primarily depend upon agriculture for their survival will face eviction. Experts calculate that the total loss of income to the farming and the farm worker families is at least Rs. 212 crores a year.

    * This does not include other income lost (for instance of artisans) due to the demise of local rural economies. The government promises ‘humane' displacement followed by relief and rehabilitation.

    * However, the historical record does not offer any room for hope on this count: an estimated 40 million people (of which nearly 40% are Adivasis and 25% Dalits) have lost their land since 1950 on account of displacement due to large development projects. At least 75% of them still await rehabilitation.

    * Almost 80% of the agricultural population owns only about 17% of the total agriculture land, making them near landless farmers. Far more families and communities depend on a piece of land (for work, grazing) than those who simply own it. However, compensation is being discussed only for those who hold titles to land. No compensation has been planned for those who don't.

LOSS OF PUBLIC REVENUE

    * Exemptions from customs duties, income tax, sales tax, excise duties and service tax (even on luxury hotel facilities, shopping malls, health clubs and recreation centres) given to SEZs, the Finance ministry estimates a loss of Rs.1,60,000 crore till 2010 in revenue. (The Ministry has also asked for capping the number of SEZs at 100.

    * Finance Minister P. Chidambaram wrote to Cabinet colleagues saying: "SEZs per se will distort land, capital, and labour cost, which will encourage relocation or shifting of industries in clever ways that can't be stopped. This will be further aggravated by the proliferation of a large number of SEZs in and around metros.")

    * The foregone tax revenue every year is five times the annual allocation for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and is enough to feed each year 55 million people who go to bed hungry every day.

    * Furthermore, given the concessions on import duties (not merely for the investors who will produce exportable items but also for the developer, who will not), there are likely to be foreign exchange losses (rather than gains).

    * For the five year period ending 1996-97 the foreign exchange outgo on imports made by units in SEZs and the customs duty forgone amounted to Rs.16461.58 crore against which exports of only Rs.13563.87 crore were reported.

    * Moreover, these zones are exempt from sales tax, octroi, mandi tax etc on the supply of the goods from the Domestic Tariff Area (rest of India).


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