Bhubaneswar, Aug 11:

The Odisha government on Thursday asked the District Collectors to spend the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund judiciously for poor people in the mining-affected areas.

 Representative pic.  credit- Wikimedia Commons)
Representative pic. credit- Wikimedia Commons)

The government has collected Rs 1,100 crore as DMF fund in various districts.

Chairing the first meeting of the State Level Committee (SLC) on DMF, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi asked the collectors to utilise the technical and manpower expertise of the line departments for preparation and implementation of the projects under DMF.

Development Commissioner R. Balakrishnan suggested establishing last mile road connectivity to the cut off habitations for delivery of essential services.

He also advised the line departments in mining districts to deploy more manpower like engineers and technical staff for execution of the projects as per the necessity.

Steel and Mines Secretary R.K. Sharma advised the Collectors to look into the amended DMF Rules and Guidelines and plan the collection and expenditures of funds accordingly.

Sharma said the DMFs are formed in all the districts and in several districts the foundations have started implementing the developmental projects.

The amended rule shows that in case of major minerals 30 per cent of royalty for mining leases granted before January 12, 2015, and ten per cent of the royalty for mining leases granted after this date were to be collected as Mineral Fund.

For minor minerals, 30 per cent of royalty for leases not granted through auction and ten per cent of royalty for leases granted through auction would be collected.

The meeting also discussed the proposals for including the infrastructural projects for the welfare of old-age persons, persons with disabilities, transgender, drug-addicts and working women.

It was decided that the executive committees of the DMF may consider the projects like establishment of old age home, district rehabilitation centres, homes for mentally retarded persons, and drug de-addiction centres for mining-affected areas and people. (IANS)