Extractive industries: will they ever publish what they pay?

Though corrupt regimes may be reluctant to disclose payments, progressive voices from the oil industry are making change happen

Ramesh Agrawal, a small-town internet café owner in central India, never intended to become a campaigner. But his home state of Chhattisgarh is home to almost one fifth of the country’s coal reserves.

The loss of land and consequent pollution that coal mining have brought would be marginally more palatable if even a modicum of the profits found their way back to the local community; they don’t. What’s more, repeated petitions for information are met with silence. "We wish to know how much profit they are making from coal production and [what] share of it they spent on social welfare activates", he says.

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