The consultation on Silicosis, DMFT and Mining was organized jointly by Environics Trust, Rajasthan Suchna Evum Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan (Rajasthan Information and Employment Campaign) and Publish What You Pay on 9 March 2018 at State Institute of Family and Health Welfare, Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The consultation began with R. Sreedhar and Nikhil Dey laying down the objectives of the meeting as following:
- Discuss potential strengthening of transparency in the disbursal of silicosis grant relief based on experiences developed in Rajasthan
- Discuss status of utilization of funds under District Mineral Foundation Trust and standards of transparency/mandatory disclosure that should govern it
- Discuss norms of transparency to govern various stages of extraction
The Department of IT, Government of Rajasthan made a presentation on a real time, transaction based, management information system that has been developed for citizens to file applications for silicosis grant relief, track their application, be allocated a time and date for testing by the medical board, issuance of a medically certified silicosis affected certificate and release of grant as a direct benefit transfer. The Department made a presentation on the various stages of the application and took feedback and suggestions from the participants. The participants had many suggestions on what kind of reports should such an automated transaction based MIS be generating for the public, which can enable them to hold the administration accountable for timely disbursement of relief. It was further decided that R. Sreedhar would suggest to the Government of Jharkhand to look at the MIS developed by Government of Rajasthan for potential replication.
The consultation thereafter focussed on the status of utilization of DMFT funds in Rajasthan and other States and the positive lessons and challenges that have emerged. The last session of the consultation focussed on discussing the nature of information that should be in the public domain across the life cycle of mining. The consultation concluded with a vote of thanks and an expressed agreement to carry this conversation forward and follow up on the recommendations made