CSE report picks holes in preparedness for District Mineral Foundation framework

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 08, 2017

Only 7 districts have established District Mineral Foundation offices in 50 mineral rich districts, according to a survey conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment.

CSE came out with the status report on the District Mineral Foundation on Thursday. In the report CSE notes that districts are lagging behind in making the required administrative and institutional arrangements under the DMF.

District Mineral Foundations were instituted in March 2015, when the government amended the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (1957). According to the provisions of the DMF, miners and mining companies are mandated to provide a sum to the DMG Trust of the district where the mine is located. The sum is linked to the total royalty payment.

CSE has also stated that of the 50 districts they have surveyed only 24 have indicated that their plans for utilising the DMF funds are ready. But, the actual plans were available from only 17 districts. Chhattisgarh has emerged as the state with the most progress with respect to DMF planning. Out of the 9 districts surveyed, eight have prepared DMF plans.

In terms of collections, total DMF collection till February 2017 stands at ₹ 5,800 crore. Odisha, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh constitute 69.5 per cent of the total amount.

The report also highlights discrepancies in the allocation of DMF funds, Srestha Banerjee, programme manager, environmental governance-community support program at CSE said, “Dhanbad, one of the highly polluted coal mining districts of Jharkhand, has allocated 62.5 per cent of its DMF budget for clean drinking water, which the district largely plans to provide through piped water supply. On the contrary, Singrauli, the top coal mining district of Madhya Pradesh, and a critically polluted area, had earmarked a negligible 0.9 per cent of its DMF budget for drinking water which entirely is for digging tube wells.”

CSE has stated that in the allocation of funds from DMF, there is a big focus on construction of structures such as school buildings, auditoriums and classrooms but there is little focus on providing support resources that can improve access to and quality of education.

Published on June 08, 2017
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