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PMKKKY a mixed bag of opportunities, it has both positives as well as loopholes: CSE
New Delhi-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has analysed the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojna (PMKKKY) in the context of the recently notified rules on the District Mineral Foundation (DMF).

The PMKKKY and Central Rules on DMF were released within a day of each other- September 16 and 17. Both combine to make real the policy of the central government on sharing mining benefits with some of the poorest people of the country living on India's richest lands.

While the DMF rules mandate contribution to the DMFs by mining lease-holders, the PMKKKY lays out the roadmap for delivering development for the mining-affected areas and communities.

After analyzing PMKKKY, CSE said it was a "mixed bag of opportunity"- it has both positives as well as loopholes. 

The positive recommendations include providing definition of directly and indirectly-affected areas that is crucial development, involvement of gram sabha for identifying affected people use of DMF funds, taking into account long-term concerns, requirement of approval of gram sabhas for PMKKKY plans and projects to be rolled out in scheduled areas, mechanisms of transparency and accountability. However, CSE found the scheme to be vague and limited in several aspects.

According to a CSE press release, it has analysed the DMF Contribution Rules and found these to be a significantly watered-down version of what was proposed in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment (MMDR) Act, 2015 - a reduction in contribution by lease-holders of mines that were leased after January 12, 2015 (to 10 per cent instead of previously proposed 30 per cent) means that less funds will be available for developmental work in mining-affected areas.

CSE's deputy director-general Chandra Bhushan said this would undermine the objectives of the DMFs and will dash hopes of mining-affected communities across the country.

The PMKKKY has been aligned to DMF to facilitate the implementation of the scheme. The scheme will be implemented by the DMFs by using the funds accrued to them.

CSE has also strongly stated that it was also important to ensure that DMF remains an inclusive institution of the people and for the people, a vision with which it has been discussed over the years and instituted.

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