States told to update audit of DMF spends

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 27, 2018

The Ministry of Mines has requested State governments to complete the audit of District Mineral Fund spends till financial year 2017-18 before the current financial year (2018-19) ends.

“The Ministry of Mines vide letter dated October 4, 2018 has requested the State governments to audit the funds of DMF utilised under Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY). Accordingly, most of States have carried out or are in the process of carrying out the audit of DMF. All States have been advised to complete the audit up to the year 2017-18 by the end of the current financial year,” Minister of State for Mines Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Chaudhary was responding to a question whether any audit of district mineral foundation spends under PMKKKY was conducted.

“As per the guidelines dated September 16, 2015, the accounts of DMF shall be audited every year by chartered accountant appointed by the DMF, or in such other manner as the government may specify,” he added.

The PMKKKY has accrued ₹22,859 crore till November, but what has been utilised is around ₹5,529 crore. The highest DMF contributions have been reported from Odisha at ₹5,599.5 crore. Jharkhand is second at ₹3,319.01 crore and Chhattisgarh comes third at ₹3,223.80 crore.

Funds diversion feared

The slow pace of DMF utilisation has fed fears of these funds being diverted by State governments to other regions or for other purposes.

Responding to a question whether any timeframe was prescribed for the utilisation of DMF funds, Chaudhary said, “There is no specific timeframe, but the States have been advised to expedite the utilisation.”

Published on December 27, 2018

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