District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Rules of various states as well as Pradhan Mantri Khanij Khestra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) specify that DMFs in every district should go through an annual planning exercise for identifying and prioritizing projects and works to be undertaken with DMF funds. Two clear issues have been underscored for DMF planning, districts should practice a bottom-up planning approach involving Gram Sabhas, and intervention should focus on certain “high priority” issues in mining-affected areas that maximize the welfare and benefit of the affected people.
Both of these specifications are given to ensure optimal deployment of financial resources available with DMFs for the “interest and benefit” of people affected by mining-related operations. For this, districts need to develop DMF plans adopting a systematic approach. This will also help to reduce ad hoc and reactive planning, poor investments and chances of special-interest interference.
To this effect, an indicative DMF plan for Dhanbad district is proposed. The purpose of this exercise is to provide a template for identifying priorities and setting plan targets by DMFs based on an output-outcome oriented approach, which can be considered by the district in line with their annual district and DMF budgets. It is also as an attempt to enable more stable investments, as the indicative plan takes into account the opinions people from mining-affected areas, members of Gram Panchayats/wards, civil society representatives and officials at the block and district levels, the stakeholders who are in direct charge of the various bits of the economy.