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Narratives of Natural Resource Corruption in India and Environmental Regulatory Reforms In India
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Narratives of Natural Resource Corruption in India and Environmental Regulatory Reforms In India

The wider domestic, political and economic contexts are used to discuss the shifting discourses regarding the purposes, objectives, or forms of India’s environmental regulations. The reforms in environmental law aim to legalize and protect investments in projects, regardless of their environmental performance, as well as to monetise the impacts and damages.

Since 2015, India has been undergoing a major overhaul of its environmental regulatory regime. This is meant to control the social and environmental impacts of resource-intensive, potentially harmful, projects. We will discuss the shifting discourses regarding the purpose, objectives and forms of India’s environmental regulations in the larger domestic political and economic contexts. The electoral campaigns that led to the 2014 general election saw the environmental regulatory system become politicized. This politicisation created the conditions that the incumbent government could implement a series of reforms to allow for greater privatization. These changes can be understood as being directed at and responding to these measures.

This paper’s first section provides a broad overview of India’s regulatory environment. It also critiques it. The paper then discusses the politicization of economic development, and environmental regulations through discourses about natural resource corruption and inefficiency of public governance. The paper then discusses reforms to environmental regulations according to specific themes. It also reflects on the implications for these changes. These include conflicts due to reduced democracy engagement and long-term effects on communities and ecologies.

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