DMFT aims at holistic progress of mining dists

Bhubaneswar: The District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMFT), whose notification will be published by the State government in next 30 days, envisages social and economic development to the mineral rich areas of Odisha.

The draft DMFT deed, a copy of which has been obtained from a highly-placed source by this portal, outlines how the investments mobilised through this fund will be put to use by the State government.

The Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act has stipulated that respective State governments have to set up such foundations in every district affected by mining as a non-profit organization, which will focus on the development of infrastructure, health and education of the respective regions.

The foundations, with names eponymous to their regions, will run from the respective Zilla Parishad offices.

Government officials appointed on the trust will work as trustees till the time they hold a particular government office. In case of transfer, the official will relinquish his trusteeship to the replacing officer. The nominated trustees will hold office for a period of 3 years. The existing trustees can also be re-nominated but they cannot hold the office for more than 3 terms.

The management of the trust will be entrusted upon a governing council, which would include all the members of the trust while a managing committee will look after the day-to-day work of the trust. All the decisions of the trust will be taken at the governing council meeting based on voting.

Decisions endorsed by a majority will be implemented and, in case of a tie, the chairman of the council will take the final decision. The council will also create the annual action plan and budget and approve it.

The funds of the trust will be deposited in one or more nationalised banks in accounts opened in the name of the trust. The trust’s member-secretary and a member of a managing committee will operate the accounts.

The draft deed prepared by the State government seeks to use the funds collected by the trust in ensuing holistic development of the mining districts through creation of necessary infrastructure for the economic and social development.

Moreover, the trust will protect, preserve and develop community-owned assets. The funds will also in invested towards generating employment opportunities for local people and enhance the self-employment abilities of the locals through various training initiatives.

Notably, the Union Steel and Mines ministry had proposed creation of such foundations, which will be funded by an additional levy related to royalty. It had also proposed that the funds be used for the benefit of people affected by mining activities as also for the rebuilding of infrastructure in mining-affected areas.