The government on Thursday announced a programme for welfare of people in the mining affected zones, which would be funded through contribution made by the miners to district mineral foundations (DMFs) in these areas.
The DMFs are to be created in all mining impacted districts in the country by the respective states for alleviating the miseries faced by locals in those areas. The Union mines ministry has also notified the rates of contribution for the mining community under which all leases executed before January 12, 2015 (the date of coming into force of the amended mining Act) will have to contribute an amount equal to 30 per cent of the royalty to the DMFs and for leases granted after January 12, the contribution would be 10 per cent of the royalty.
The welfare programme, named Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY), would be funded by the proceeds accrued to these foundations. At least 60 per cent of the money in each DMF would be used drinking water supply, health care, sanitation, education, skill development, women and child care, welfare of aged and disabled people, skill development and environment conservation, according to an official statement.
The remaining money would be utilised to create a supportive and conducive living environment, making roads, bridges, railways, waterways projects, irrigation and encouraging alternative energy sources, it said.
According to the order issued for PMKKKY, for mining-affected villages situated within the scheduled areas, the gram sabha’s approval would be mandatory for all programmes and projects to be taken up under this programme and would also authenticate the list of beneficiaries.
Report pertaining to works executed under PMKKKY would have to be furnished to the gram sabha after completion of every financial year. The accounts of the DMF would be audited every year and the report along with the Annual Report has to be made public, the order added.
There are 12 states which have the maximum mining districts in the country and none of them is known to have constituted DMFs in their respective territories. The key reason for they not doing so is the notification of the quantum of contribution the miners would have to make to the DMFs.