Post-pandemic geopolitical and economic trends offer a precious opportunity for India to emerge as a rare earths supplier for the world. This discussion document lays out a prioritisation framework and a strategy for India to do that. We recommend that the Government of India should:
- Create a new Department for Rare Earths (DRE), which would play the role of a regulator and enabler for businesses in this space.
- Allow private sector companies to participate in upstream and downstream processing of rare earth elements.
- Offer Viability Gap Funding to businesses in upstream processing to help them set up operations.
- Provide enabling infrastructure close to ports, implement Ease of Doing Business Measures, and create a whitelist of international suppliers for businesses in downstream processing.
- Build a rare earths reserve along with partners such as the Quad as a geostrategic move to ensure India can compete in the manufacturing of high-tech products in the coming decades.