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Unutilised mining fund to be used for tackling coronavirus crisis

The Director of Mines and Geology in Karnataka has said that around Rs 200 crore of the unutilised fund is available with District Mineral Foundation (DMF).

According to directions from the Central government, 30% of these funds can be utilised by the respective districts’ deputy commissioners for COVID-19.

The funds can be utilised in districts where at least one confirmed case is found for the creation of health infrastructure and the purchase of medical equipment in the district. In the districts, where there are no positive cases, masks, sanitizers and food can be purchased for migrant labourers. The DMF funds are collected from miners as royalty.

Dr M Shivashankar, director, Mines and Geology, Karnataka, said, “The funds are already available with the DCs. We don’t have to disburse the funds. More than Rs 200 crore is left unutilised. The total funds were Rs 1,842 crore. But around Rs. 1,600 crore has been earmarked for expenditure already.”

About Rs 175 crore is available in 27 districts excluding Ballari, Kalaburagi and Chitradurga. From Ballari, Kalaburagi and Chitradurga we have funds to the tune of about Rs 700 crore” Shivashankar added.

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