District Mineral Foundations: Intervention focus, Planning dimensions and Administrative Imperatives

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR), 1957, as amended in 2015, specifies the objective [Section 9B (2)] of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) – “to work for the interest and benefit of persons, and areas affected by mining related operations.”

It has been further specified that the objective and functioning of DMF are also guided by constitutional provisions as it relates to Fifth and Sixth Schedules for governing Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas, the provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), 1996, and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 – the Forest Rights Act (FRA).

Relevance and connectedness to people thus lie at the heart of DMF to fulfill the objective. This can be ensured by focussing on three key factors while preparing budgets and developing plans for DMFs in various mining districts. These include:
* Determine focus areas of intervention for which there is a crisis or shortfall in the mining affected areas and which need to be addressed on priority basis.
* Undertake comprehensive planning on the basis of socio-economic data, scientific information and ground-level surveys to address immediate needs, as well as provide security for the future.
* Set up appropriate administrative mechanisms to function in an effective, transparent and accountable manner.

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