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Cooperative quarrying and mining

India’s economic growth involves both a healthy component of efficiently managed enterprises without excessively negative impacts on the environment and social fabric, as well as enterprises that yield very high level of profits, while employing low levels of technological inputs and relying heavily on corruption and coercion, such as mineral and sand mining and quarrying. While India must continue to develop modern technology-based industries and services, it is clear that these cannot generate employment on the massive scale required . It is therefore imperative that this modern sector must minimize its adverse impacts on the labour-intensive, natural resource-based occupations and livelihoods and nurture a symbiotic relationship with this largely unorganized sector. This would be best accomplished through organizing the unorganized in cooperative enterprises accountable to their communities. Extraction of widespread, readily available resources like sand and stone, as also minerals like iron, manganese and bauxite, could be an excellent basis for such cooperative enterprises. This offers a great opportunity for India to replace its criminalized economic enterprises by enterprises that will nurture nation’s human resources and to move away from a violence-torn society towards a cooperative commonwealth.  

Madhav Gadgil,
Jul 1, 2017, 9:26 PM