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Minister Anand Singh suggests usage of DM Funds for Covid activities

Minister of Tourism, Environment and Ecology directs the Ballari district administration to submit a proposal for using Rs 30 crores from the District Mineral (DM) funds for managing Covid-19 activities in Ballari and Vijayanagara districts.

Mr Singh chaired a meeting at the District Administrative office on Thursday and said that Rs 320 crores have been set aside and can be utilized for emergency purposes.

Deputy Commissioner Pavan Kumar Malapati, in his briefing, said that the administration has taken up several tasks as per government guidelines to control the spread of COVID-19, with the thinking that it can utilise ₹31.30 crores under District Mineral Foundation funds.

“The expenditure incurred for activities is more than the reserved amount and we need to get approval for the additional amount. The staff appointed are to be continued and we need around ₹2.30 crore every month to pay them salaries. For the next nine months, we need around ₹20 crores for continuing COVID-19 containment activities. For handling a possible third wave of the pandemic, we need ₹5 crores additionally,” Mr Malapati told the meeting.

“A sum of ₹31.30 crores was reserved for COVID-19 containment activities which included the purchase of medical essentials such as ventilators, generators, essential drugs and also, streamlining oxygen supply. We have also outsourced medical, technical and non-technical staff. A sum of ₹4.19 crore from DMF funds is used for these activities,” he said.

In his response, Mr Singh directed Mr Malapati to submit a proposal for using ₹30 crores from the DMF funds for COVID-19-related tasks. He said that he will discuss the issue with the Chief Secretary of the government and see that the proposal is approved.

As per information shared at the meeting, six action plans for taking up 2,351 works at a cost of ₹2,677 crores were approved between 2016-17 and 2021-22. A sum of ₹528.96 crores was released for the works completed. Mr Malapati told the meeting that in nine cases contractors, who failed to complete the works within the stipulated time, were fined.

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