Mining & District Mineral Foundation
In 2015, India made a historic amendment to the country’s central mining law, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of 1957, instituting District Mineral Foundation (DMF). Through DMFs, the right of the people to benefit from mineral resource extraction has been recognised for the first time. It also creates an opportunity to address the inequality that has burdened India’s mining areas over the decades.
While the mandate of DMF is to prioritise various developmental and poverty alleviation works that benefit the mining-affected communities, it is not just any other development fund. The governance architecture of DMFs has been envisioned as people-centric, where engagement of local communities in decision-making is at the forefront.
If implemented well, DMFs not only have huge potential for improving the lives and livelihoods of some of the most impoverished communities, it can also strengthen decentralised and inclusive governance.
We are working in mining districts of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh to institutionalise DMF implementation mechanisms. We are also researching state and national policies on mining and mining-related issues and advocating for improving environmental and social safeguards.