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Skewed critical minerals global supply chains post COVID-19: Reforms for making India

9 June 2020


A study by the Department of Science and Technology and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (DST-CEEW, 2016) points out that there isn’t enough research in India on ensuring mineral resource security for the manufacturing sector.1 The study looked at 49 non-fuel minerals, including rare earth minerals, and assessed the impact of critical minerals on manufacturing sector due to supply cons. [...] The impact was such that the prices of rare earths oxides increased in the range of 60% to 350% and returned to the pre-dispute levels after a year. [...] India needs to undertake serious research and build a policy framework of being self-reliant in clean energy and high-tech equipment by acting fast on exploration and excavation of critical minerals and setting up investments in the downstream value chain of manufacturing requisite equipment at home. [...] These include “energy critical minerals, fertilizer minerals, precious metals and stones, strategic minerals and other deep-seated minerals which are otherwise difficult to access and for which the country is mainly dependent on imports.” The recent set of Atmanirbhar reforms of the mineral sector announced by the Finance Minister under the Part-4 of post COVID-19 stimulus package are likely to gi. [...] This comprehensive report would factor in the environment, forest and biodiversity, and the local community aspects of the mining project under consideration.17 A much-needed single regulatory authority has been envisioned in the National Mineral Policy (2019): “A unified authority in the form of an inter-ministerial body under Ministry of Mines, with members like Ministry of Coal, MoEarth Science.