Odisha govt spends only 26% of DMF fund for mining-hit areas | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com

timesofindia.indiatimes.com

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the district mineral foundations (DMF) in the state have flushed with funds worth Rs 8,729 crore by October, the spending remains only at 26 per cent.
Informing it to the state assembly in a written reply, state planning and convergence minister Padmanabha Behera said Rs 2,281.74 crore has been spent for various development projects from the DMF fund.
Low spending of DMF fund remained a cause of concern for the state government as the issue gets prominence in the agenda of the all-secretary meeting headed by the chief secretary every month. Instruction has been issued to expedite the spending with proper planning.
Official sources in the planning and convergence department said projects of nearly Rs 8,000 crore has been approved.
The amended Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act-2015 has made provision of the DMF for any districts affected by mining-related activities. The fund has been created with contribution from the mining lease holders and it is being utilised for the socio-economic development of the people affected by mining.
The lessees contribute 10 per cent of royalty towards DMF in respect of mining leases granted after January 12, 2015 (blocks received through auction) while the contribution is 30 per cent of the royalty for leases granted before the date.
Drinking water supply, education, healthcare, sanitation, skill development, housing, connectivity, livelihood programmes and environment preservation are some of the priority areas where the government spends the DMF money.
Behera’s reply said highest amount of Rs 772 crore has been spent to strengthen drinking water supply in mining-affected areas while Rs 290 crore has been utilised for healthcare services. While Rs 243 crore has been utilised for education, Rs 173 crore has been utilised for strengthening road connectivity. For housing project of people affected by mining, government has spent only Rs 66 lakh.
From the DMF fund, the state government has pumped Rs 378 crore for physical infrastructure, Rs 194 crore for irrigation projects and Rs 57 crore for energy and watershed projects and Rs 18.32 crore for afforestation activities.
Though all the 30 districts have DMFs, majority of the funds are being spent in eight mineral-rich districts like Angul, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Rayagada districts.
Spending under the Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC) in Odisha is also not encouraging as only Rs 1131 crore has been spend from total generated amout of Rs 15,586 crore, said Behera.
The OMBADC was constituted in 2014 with contribution from lessees for the amount they have paid for diversion of forest land for mining purpose. It has now fund of nearly Rs 16,000 crore as penalties collected from the mining leaseholders for illegal mining was deposited in the OMBADC. The penalties were collected from mining lessees for illegal mining based on a Supreme Court order delivered on August 2, 2017.





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