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Welfare fund not spent for people living near mining sites: Saikia

By Staff Reporter
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GUWAHATI, June 1 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has called upon Minister for Mines & Minerals Sum Ronghang to ensure collection and utilisation of funds for the District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMFT) for the welfare of people living in the vicinity of mining sites.

In a letter to the minister, Saikia said although setting up of DMFTs in all districts of Assam had been notified in 2016 in accordance with the Mines and Minerals (Contribution to District Minerals Foundation) Rules, 2015, promulgated by the Government of India, not a single penny of DMFT fund has yet been released or utilised for the benefit of the people of Sivasagar district where mining of petroleum and natural gas, stone and sand is undertaken on a sizeable scale.

Saikia pointed out that lease holders are supposed to pay a levy over and above royalty to compensate for the adverse fallout of mining activities, such as air and water pollution, along with loss of valuable natural resources.

He said the intention behind imposing levy ranging from two per cent to 30 per cent of the relevant royalty would stand defeated if the fund was not regularly collected and spent through the DMFTs for the benefit of those who suffered the most due to mining activities.

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Welfare fund not spent for people living near mining sites: Saikia

GUWAHATI, June 1 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has called upon Minister for Mines & Minerals Sum Ronghang to ensure collection and utilisation of funds for the District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMFT) for the welfare of people living in the vicinity of mining sites.

In a letter to the minister, Saikia said although setting up of DMFTs in all districts of Assam had been notified in 2016 in accordance with the Mines and Minerals (Contribution to District Minerals Foundation) Rules, 2015, promulgated by the Government of India, not a single penny of DMFT fund has yet been released or utilised for the benefit of the people of Sivasagar district where mining of petroleum and natural gas, stone and sand is undertaken on a sizeable scale.

Saikia pointed out that lease holders are supposed to pay a levy over and above royalty to compensate for the adverse fallout of mining activities, such as air and water pollution, along with loss of valuable natural resources.

He said the intention behind imposing levy ranging from two per cent to 30 per cent of the relevant royalty would stand defeated if the fund was not regularly collected and spent through the DMFTs for the benefit of those who suffered the most due to mining activities.

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