Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act 2015 Current Affairs - 2020

Odisha Mining Activity greatly affected due to COVID-19; 21 mines interrupted

With the COVID-19 spreading at faster rate in the country, GoI had extended the statutory permits of mines for smooth transition. In spite of this, several mines in Odisha are facing delays of resumption.

Highlights

The operations of 21 mines have been disrupted completely. The delay in resumption of merchant mines in the state is to affect demand-supply mismatch greatly. Most of the small-scale steel plants, pellet makers and sponge iron units are dependent on the merchant ore market for raw materials. These mines mainly include manganese, iron ore and chromite.

Odisha Resources

The state is rich in Limestone, Manganese ore, iron ore, chromite, bauxite, Dolomite, graphite, etc. According to Economic Survey, Odisha is the major supplier of raw materials in the country. Mining contributes 10% of income of the state. It holds 96% of Chromite and 25% of coal reserves of India. After Mines and Minerals Development and regulation act, 2015, Odisha was at the forefront in auctioning new mineral blocks.

Therefore, disruption of mining activities in the state will hit the economy badly.

What are DMF Funds that are to be used by the states to combat COVID-19?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman recently instructed the state governments to use DMF (District Mineral Foundation) funds to fight against COVID-19. This is being done to supplement medical facilities that will help fight against Corona Virus.

What are DMF Funds?

The District Mineral Foundation is a non-profit body. It was set up in those districts that were affected by mining works. The Foundation works towards the benefit and interest of the persons affected due to the mining activity. The Funds are allocated according to the rules of MMDR act.

Legislation

The DMF funds were set up under Section 9B of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) MMDR amendment act. The act says that every mine holder has to contribute 10% of their loyalty towards the funds.

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Khsetra Kalyana Yojana

The DMF funds are used to implement the scheme. The scheme focuses on safeguarding environment, health and economic conditions of the tribal people. This is because, most of the productive mines in the country are located in the tribal areas.

DMF Funds

The DMF funds so far were used for drinking water supply, health care, environment preservation, women welfare, education, sanitation and skill development.