22 Jul 2006

freakonomics !

Like many of you, i have been watching the coverage (call it expose’) of organized illegal iron ore mining in the Bellary district of Karnataka.
Millions of tons of haematite are being exported to China. Resulting in the rampant exploitation of labourers and miners, while lining the pockets of cops, politicians and political parties, bureaucrats, Mafia musclemen and sundry beneficiaries.

In my limited understanding of the complexities of global economics, it makes very little sense to export iron ore out of the country. i would almost equate it to a move to legitimize en-mass slaughter of our Royal Bengal Tigers for the sale of their pelts through covert auctions in the international black-market. It could fetch us zillions of green-bucks !
Tigers are, after all, exploitable resources - who cares whether we can regenerate them or not.

A few years down the line we might initiate a tiger-breeding program - we have done it with the bees, you know - with generous funding from the WWF, IUCN and all. Politicians would take great pains to explain that such a captive breeding program would generate employment and contribute to the national GDP, in addition to being a laudable scientific endeavour !

In all humility, i am definitely not the first to think in these lines. Mr B. Muthuraman, MD, Tata Steel has already drawn media attention to the fact that exporting iron ore is not in our best national interest. Jairam Ramesh also appears to publicly profess the desire to end this iron-ore exports to China.

Given the furious pace at which governmental decision-making happen in our great nation (mind you, this pace is extremely selective), i’m hoping there’s enough haematite available in the country by the time the proposed Mittal steel plant in Orissa becomes operational !


Anonymous said...

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