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