Across 23 states, 644 districts are now reaping the benefits of District Mineral Foundations (DMFs), as announced in Parliament on Monday. These funds, mandated by the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, aim to support communities and areas impacted by mining.
Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi informed the Rajya Sabha that states have established DMFs in a vast majority of mineral-rich districts. This nationwide rollout empowers states to manage funds collected from mining leases and direct them towards crucial areas like education, healthcare, infrastructure, environment protection, and skill development.
However, Joshi also highlighted the need for transparency and accountability in DMF utilization. To address this, the Ministry of Mines has requested a special audit by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG). This CAG audit, scheduled for the fiscal year 2023-24, aims to ensure responsible and effective use of DMF funds, maximizing their impact on mining-affected communities.
The widespread establishment of DMFs marks a significant step towards equitable distribution of benefits from mineral wealth. Continued focus on transparency, accountability, and community participation will be crucial in ensuring that mining contributes positively to the lives and environments it touches.
This rewrite condenses the key points while adding a more journalistic tone. It emphasizes the positive impact of DMFs, acknowledges the need for accountability, and concludes with a forward-looking statement about potential benefits for mining communities.