The transformation in the structure of the world mining industry over the last decade has opened up enormous new regions for mineral exploration and development by the transnational mining companies. This new access has also brought mining companies into conflict with the local communities besides giving birth to various controversies. With the involvement of transnational advocacy networks and new global publics, these conflicts have prompted a growing transnational debate on the principles that ought to govern mining and community relationships. There is ample evidence to support the Bank's direct or indirect involvement in pushing forth mining. The WB has funded new mining projects, assisted in the expansion of existing mines and also funded technology, automation, computerization, research and development. This has generated far reaching social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts including the dispossession of local communities, particularly Adivasis and Dalits. In many cases this has also had a gendered effect on communities.

Other important issues that the sector seeks to address are:

  • The adoption of NEP and SAP. Under the principle guidelines of the WB, there had been a strong position of encouraging privatization. Is the WB directly or indirectly sponsored to promote privatization?

  • Issue of contract labour and permanent jobs. The role of the WB in reducing employment and forcing the state not to act as a welfare state.

  • The issue of automation and labour demand. To ascertain what kind of modernization, mechanization or automation is being promoted by the WB in the mining sector. Do these technologies tend to replace labour, increase profit and production at the expense of broader social interests, the environment and labour?

  • The retrenchment of workers. Closely related to labour and automation.

  • The role of the WB in promoting obsolete technology in third world countries like India. Such technology imports were criticized by sections of the press in India as 'importing obsolete' and 'creating a relationship of dependent exploitation'.

  • The question of promoting war weapons. Whether the current push for mining is tied to the drive for war weapons, particularly in the context of uranium and other radioactive mining. Environmental impact on fragile and non · fragile regions.

  • Issue of displacement resulting from mining projects in light of the fact that the Bank led projects promise rehabilitation and resettlement.

  • Mining on forestland. Environmental harm and socio-cultural genocide.

Presentation on the WB Coal Sector Environmental and Social Mitigation Project

Photos of the Affected Community of East Parej


Arvin Kejriwal -Delhi Water Privatization
Amit Bhaduri - Response to the World Bank
Madhura Swaminathan - World Bank and Food Security


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