Bhubaneswar, October 12, 2017: With total funds collection worth Rs 3,433.66 crore up to end of September, Odisha has topped among all states in the country in terms of collecting and utilising funds under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) mandated under the amended Mines and Minerals Development & Regulation (MMDR) Act, Steel and Mines Minister, Prafulla Kumar Mallik said at an ASSOCHAM event held in Bhubaneswar today. “As many as 9,896 projects with financial outlay of Rs 1,459.17 crore have already been initiated in different districts which cover drinking water, road infrastructure, education, health and others (sectors),” said Mallik while inaugurating an ‘ASSOCHAM National Conference on Mining in Odisha.’ Introduction of provision for DMF under Section 9B of MMDR (Amendment) Act, 2015 has facilitated augmentation of funds to provide a permanent, sustainable solution to problems of tribals and poor people living in mining affected areas.
Talking about the need to emphasize more responsible mining, the Minister said that effective regulation and implementation of current laws is a pre-requisite for being able to continue mining of even most essential minerals.
“Prevention and mitigation of adverse environmental effects due to mining of minerals and repairing and re-vegetation of affected forest area and land covered by trees in accordance with latest internationally acceptable norms and modern afforestation practices needs to form an integral part of mine development strategy,” said Mallik. He suggested the mining companies to forge alliances with infrastructure players, technology and equipment suppliers and financier’s innovative ways including the public-private partnership model in order to optimise risk-reward equations and achieve economies of scale. Lamenting that high turnaround time in network leads to poor operational efficiency, resulting in demurrages and detentions, the Minister said, “Our Government is working to enhance and optimise logistics configuration between mines, plants, railways and ports.”