We have just been told that Firstpost – IBN Live investigation have uncovered yet another set of 'illegal' mining operations, this time in the rich state of Odisha.

We get told that most of the private mining operations are illegal. But we are rarely informed of the possibility that illegal operations flourish because the law and the long reaching arm of Indian babudom stifle private enterprise because it serves the babudom well – consider the gravy train a licensed sector generates – bribes at every point – licensing, quota management, export controls, environmental clearances and annual audits. The possibilities seem endless.

On the other hand there is the possibility that reckless mining will cause large scale, irreversible environmental damage. There is a valid concern that precious national resources cannot be completely left to private multi-national corporations to exploit. We would rather have it all with us – put the the precious ore into foundries and factories, make finished goods and then export. 

At CRI we are for less government in enterprise. But lets hear from you