Bhubaneswar: With total fund collection touching Rs 3,433.66 crore by September-end, Odisha has topped among all states in the country in terms of collection and utilisation of funds under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) mandated under the amended Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act, steel and mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallik said here on Thursday.
“As many as 9,896 projects with financial outlay of Rs 1,459.17 crore have been initiated in different districts. These cover drinking water, road infrastructure, education, health and others sectors,” said Mallik while inaugurating the ‘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.
Underscoring the need for more responsible mining, the minister said 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 and repairing and revegetation of affected forest areas 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,” he added.
The minister 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.
Stating that high turnaround time in network leads to poor operational efficiency, resulting in demurrages and detentions, Mallik said, “Our Government is working to enhance and optimise logistics configuration between mines, plants, railways and ports.”
He also said that high visibility of information supply chain and improved planning and collaboration between various service providers are to be optimised to improve efficiency of logistics operations.
On technology up-gradation and modernisation, Mallik said, “While we have come a long way, there is still lot of potential left for improvement.” He added that end-use industries based on major minerals like chromite, bauxite, manganese, iron ore and coal have a wide scope of growth in Odisha which is India’s sixth largest state in terms of value of mineral production.
The minister further said survey and exploration is the first step towards developing domestically available minerals for internal utilisation in infrastructure, capital goods and basic industries as vast resources lie unexplored.