Dis­trict min­eral body’s cor­pus swells to 5,800cr

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - @times­group.com

An as­sess­ment re­leased on Thurs­day says the foun­da­tion has the po­ten­tial to pull the poor­est dis­tricts out of poverty

New Delhi: The Dis­trict Min­eral Foun­da­tion (DMF) in­sti­tuted in 2015 un­der the Mines and Min­er­als Act with the aim of giv­ing min­ing af­fected peo­ple in In­dia a share of the mon­e­tary ben­e­fits from min­ing has col­lected a whop­ping Rs 5,800 crore, ac­cord­ing to an as­sess­ment by the Cen­tre for Science and En­vi­ron­ment (CSE). The as­sess­ment re­leased on Thurs­day says DMF has the po­ten­tial to pull the poor­est dis­tricts out of poverty through fi­nanc­ing de­vel­op­ment projects and es­sen­tial ser­vices.

The col­lected amount is not from all the min­ing dis­tricts so the po­ten­tial cor­pus can be higher, CSE ex­perts said. DMF is yet to be rolled out in states like Tamil Nadu and UP. Odisha, Jharkhand and Ch­hat­tis­garh alone ac­count about 70% of to­tal money de­posited in DMFs.

“DMF is a defin­ing op­por­tu­nity to over­turn the decades of in­jus­tice meted out to the thou­sands liv­ing in deep poverty in In­dia’s min­ing dis­tricts,” said CSE deputy di­rec- tor gen­eral Chan­dra Bhushan. The cor­pus is col­lected from min­ers and min­ing cor­po­ra­tions as a part of the roy­alty. For ex­am­ple, for ma­jor min­er­als (like coal, iron ore and baux­ite) 10% of the roy­alty is paid to the state gov­ern­ment for leases granted on or af­ter Jan­uary 12, 2015, and 30% of roy­alty for leases be­fore that.

In some large min­ing dis­tricts like Ya­vat­mal in Ma­ha­rash­tra, Gun­tur in AP, and Kham­man, Adi­l­abad and Karim­na­gar in Telangana, DMF col­lec­tion has been much less than es­ti­mated. Of the 50 dis­tricts sur­veyed by CSE, 24 in­di­cated their DMF plans are ready. How­ever, ac­tual plans were avail­able from only 17. CSE has, how­ever. found that plans of util­is­ing DMF amount in many dis­tricts is ei­ther “ad­hoc” or “short-sighted.”

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