India Country Profile
Environment, Natural Resources and Extractive Industry
According to Global Integrity 2011, business inspections by government officials to ensure public environmental standards are often carried out in an arbitrary and ad-hoc manner.
Corruption, looting, fixed bidding, and kickbacks in India's mining sector are reportedly common. According to a 2008 article by Asia Times, mining companies, such as Jammu Kashmir Minerals Ltd (JKML) operating in the corrupt and unstable Kashmir state, have been accused of undervaluing gems and other resources in auction processes to benefit certain traders and high level officials. Though JKML potentially has massive profits from its holdings, including vast sums of sapphire, it remains dependent on government aid and is unable to pay its employees for months on end. Suspicion has also been raised over JKML employees accused of being involved in profitable smuggling rings in Kashmir. Corruption in the sector and the absence of accountability have taken their toll on the mining industry and in some cases prevented an otherwise valuable development.
According to Transparency International's Global Corruption Report 2008, corruption is estimated to add at least 25% to irrigation contracts. The rise of cost induced by corruption has made the irrigation system inefficient with small farmers bearing the brunt of the consequences.
Another corruption scandal allegedly costing India's exchequer USD 200 billion was related to the allocation of coal blocks. According to several 2012 news articles including The Wall Street Journal and BBC News, a draft report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) estimated that between 2004 and 2009, the government allocated coal blocks to a select group of private companies without competitive bidding, resulting in the private companies gaining huge profits.
Transparency International India & CMS: India Corruption Study with Focus on Below Poverty Line Households 2007:
- Approximately 36% of households below the poverty line (BPL) believe that corruption exist in the forest service.
- Approximately 13% of BPL households that interacted with forest related service either paid bribe or used contact to avail the service during the previous year.