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Goa's District Mineral Foundation Rules remain problematic in key aspects: CSE
The Directorate of Mines and Geology, Government of Goa, last Friday put out their District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Rules, 2016. The Rules were notified following provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, as amended in 2015.

According to a release by NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), it was brought out without any public consultation. The draft Rules were kept in the public domain for exactly four days before being finalized.

A review by CSE showed that the Rules remain problematic in key aspects that are critical for effective functioning of DMF.

"The Rules will not only fall short of realizing the objectives with which DMF has been instituted, but can also be counterproductive," said CSE Deputy Director General, Chandra Bhushan in a press statement.

"Several provisions remain in contravention of the schemes and guidelines put forth by the Central Government," he added.

Some of the key problems CSE analysis has highlighted are:

  • The Rules fail to make DMF relevant to 'people' with 'misplaced focus' on fund utilization

  • The Functions are poorly conceptualized and outlined, often diverging from the core intent with which DMF has been institutionalized under the law

  • The Rules create an ill-defined institutional structure with no representation of communities in decision-making

  • Areas and people entitled to benefit from DMF money (being affected by mining) are poorly defined

  • Provisions for fund utilization lack clarity – there is scope for misuse

  • The Rules deal weakly with the issue of transparency and accountability

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