States can tap up to 30 per cent of remaining DMF funds to combat Covid-19

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2020 Published on March 29, 2020

Representative image   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Centre issues directives to allow using DMF funds for healthcare, screening and food distribution

The Centre has issued guidelines to allow State governments to utilise District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund collections to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. These directives, issued on Saturday by the Ministry of Mines, said that expenditure related to Covid-19 should not exceed 30 per cent of the balance funds available with a DMF.

The MMDR Amendment Act, 2015, paved the way for setting up DMFs in any district affected by mining-related operations. The object of the DMF is to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by such operations.

As of January, the total amount accrued under the DMF by the 21 mineral-rich States stood at ₹35,925.39 crore. The allocated amount stood at ₹30,651.59 crore, while the amount spent was at ₹12,414.38 crore. If the allocation for existing projects is left undisturbed, the 21 States will be left with about ₹5,000 crore for the relief measures.

Order necessitated

These fresh directives for DMF fund utilisation are issued under Section 20 A of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, read with emergent national interest to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, an official in the know told BusinessLine.

The State governments have been asked to utilise the funds available under the DMF for supplementing and augmenting facilities of medical testing, screening and other requirements in connection with preventing the spread of Covid-19 as well as treating the patients affected by this pandemic.

The need for this order was necessitated because State governments were not allowed to tap into DMF collections for any purpose other than the development activities in districts from where minerals were mined. The rules were so strict that DMF collections from mining activities in one district could not be spent for development activities in any other district.

One-time relaxation

It is to be ensured that the expenditure related to Covid-19 does not exceed 30 per cent of the balance funds available with DMF, the letter from Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Sushil Kumar said. Kumar said that this is a one-time relaxation in utilisation of DMF collections.

“The DMF Funds can be utilised for purchase/installation of necessary medical equipment or creation of medical infrastructure as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in those districts with at one Covid-19 positive patient,” the letter said.

“In all districts, funds can be used for purchase of face masks, soaps, sanitisers and food distribution for poor people if other available funds are not sufficient as certified by the District Magistrate,” the letter added.

Published on March 29, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.