ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Development and the Neo-liberal Agenda

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This article focuses on the processes, mechanisms and legitimating discourses used to roll out changes in legal structures and state policy relating to land acquisition, “development” projects, and setting up of business ventures. It points to the moral force of a discourse of development in furthering the agenda of capital accumulation. The ideological character of the mainstream notion of development can only be challenged by articulating a counter-hegemonic conception of development that demands people’s needs are met through a system of production that places their needs at the centre and not that of capital.

The draft Environment Impact Assessment notification, 2020 (EIA 2020) has caused a stir in civil society and amidst people threatened by forcible land acquisition and displacement in the name of “national development.” The notification is the latest in changes to state policy to facilitate the smooth functioning of businesses and corporations, removing bureaucratic hur­dles along the way that allegedly slow down and complicate the establishment of new industries. Introduced during the CoViD-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) released the draft on its website on 23 March 2020, a day after a nationwide lockdown was announced by the central government. It gave the public a span of just over three months to read and respond to the draft notification, raising questions over the government’s willingness to enable citizen participation in discussions on the proposed changes. The notification was widely criticised for its pro-business bias.

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Updated On : 7th Feb, 2021

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