More than half of the funds collected under district mineral foundations (DMFs) remained unspent at the end of June this year, Parliament was told on Monday.
A total of Rs 50,500 crore had been collected under the DMFs till June, of which Rs 26,000 crore remained unspent, mines minister Pralhad Joshi said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
The funds collected are in the form of mandatory contributions from mining lease holders as a defined percentage of royalty. As per the rules, the DMF funds are to be spent for the interest and benefit of persons, and areas affected by mining-related operations.
Collection under DMF started in 2015. Sixty per cent of the funds have to be utilised for “high priority sectors” such as drinking water supply and education, while 40% is earmarked for “other priority sectors” such as physical infrastructure, energy and cowshed development.
The Centre last month took full control of the DMF, taking away states’ right to sanction or approve any expenditure out of the funds.
According to the minister, Odisha topped in DMF collections at Rs 13,728 crore, and had spent nearly half the amount collected. Chhattisgarh had the second highest collection at Rs 7,152 crore, but had spent around Rs 4,900 crore. Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were the other three states making up the top five in DMF collections.
According to the Mines and Mineral Development Rules, 2015, every holder of a mining lease or a prospecting licence-cum-mining lease shall, in addition to the royalty, pay to the DMF of the district in which mining operations are carried out, an amount at the rate of 10% of the royalty in respect of mining leases or prospecting licence cum-mining lease granted on or after January 12, 2015, and 30% of the royalty in respect of mining leases granted before January 12, 2015.