Mineral Foundation fund to be used to buy oxygen tankers in Karnataka

The New Indian Express | May 16, 2021

The state government on Saturday decided to utilise the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund for the purchase of oxygen tankers, oxygen concentrators,

The state government on Saturday decided to utilise the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund for the purchase of oxygen tankers, oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters and other emergency medical needs.

A meeting chaired by Mines and Geology minister Murugesh R Nirani decided to utilise funds available under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund to tackle the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, said a statement issued by the minister’s office.

As per the decisions taken at the meeting, the authorities will procure 10 cryogenic oxygen tankers — two each will be provided to four revenue divisions in the state, and two oxygen tankers will be sent to the coastal region. Regional Commissioners will be given the power to manage and monitor the movements of these oxygen tankers, the statement said.

DMF funds for pandemic treatment

The Hindu | May 13, 2021

The Mines and Geology Department has allowed Dakshina Kannada district administration to utilise funds available under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) for purchase of oxygen tankers, medicines and other health related items needed to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department has decided to consider similar demands from other districts.

The decision was taken after BJP State President Nalin Kumar Kateel appealed to Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani seeking utilisation of funds under DMF owing to fund crunch faced by the authorities. Mr. Kateel recently spoke to Mr. Nirani and requested him to allow the district to use funds under DMF for purchase of emergency medical needs such as oxygen tankers which are essential to stock oxygen and transport it to hospitals treating COVID patients.

A note from Mr. Nirani’s office said that the Karnataka government had set up the DMF for development of mining-ravaged districts in the State. The funds can be used for welfare schemes such as health, pollution control, women and child development, drinking water supply, sanitation, education, skill development, power generation and irrigation, the note said.

Rs. 20 crore from Mineral Fund spent on roads, water projects

The Hindu | May 11, 2021

The East Godavari District Committee on District Mineral Fund (DMF) on Monday accepted a proposal to allocate funds for the seven rural water supply works and repairs of the Tuni-Kattipudi road, during a virtual meeting headed by Collector D. Muralidhar Reddy.

Joint Collector (Revenue) G. Lakshmisha and Sub-Collectors at Amalapuram and Rajamahendravaram and Project Officers at Rampachodavaram and Chintoor participated in the meeting.

“A total of Rs. 20 crore fund from the Rs. 32.89 crore District Mineral Fund has been spent on various developmental works including roads, water and health in the areas where the mining activities have been permitted,” said Mr. Muralidhar.

The government collects fund from the mining companies and agencies engaged in the mining of various mineral resources in the district. The committee has allocated Rs. 2.64 crore for the seven rural water supply projects at Rajanagaram Assembly segment. Officials have been directed to speed up the proposed works.

BJP seeks white paper on Covid management expenditure

The New Indian Express | May 11, 2021
The objective of creating separate funds for DMF and OMBADC is to bring in transformation in the lives of the people affected by intensive mining activities.

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the ruling BJD has urged the Centre to release the second instalment of the untied grants of 15th Finance Commission for 2021-22 to rural local bodies (RLBs), the BJP on Monday demanded a white paper from the State government on expenditure made on management of second wave of Covid-19.

Claiming that Odisha government’s coffers are empty, State BJP vice president Bhrugu Baxipatra said the expenditure so far made for Covid management in the State was borne out of the funds available under Central grants and assistance, National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Trust fund, Odisha Mineral Bearing Area Development Corporation (OMBADC) and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

“Let the State government make its budgetary provision for Covid management for the current fiscal, expenditure so far made and the sources of funding to fight the pandemic public,” Baxipatra said. The BJP has been asking the State government to give a detailed account of expenditure made to fight the pandemic in 2020-21. The government tried its best to reply to several questions put forward by BJP legislators in the budget session of the Assembly.

The objective of creating separate funds for DMF and OMBADC is to bring in transformation in the lives of the people affected by intensive mining activities. Since there are huge deposits in the two specially designed funds, the State government is misutilising the funds to gain chip political mileage, said the BJP leader.

The State government had no problem on financial front last year. “It splurged money like anything without seeking any Central assistance. Sarpanchs were given the powers of district Collector. We fail to understand why the same government has taken a U-turn when the Covid situation across the State is worsening and people are crying for immediate medical assistance,” he said.

There is no dearth of funds for handling COVID-19, says Minister Anand Singh

The Hindu | May 11, 2021

Ballari district administration to use funds available under District Mineral Foundation to expand health infrastructure

Pointing to the funds available under District Mineral Foundation (DMF) lying with the district administration in Ballari, Minister for Infrastructure Development, Haj and Wakf and district in-charge B.S. Anand Singh has said that there is no dearth of funds for tackling COVID-19.

The administration had, a few weeks ago, resolved to use funds under the DMF, which has accumulated from the contributions of mining companies and are originally meant for taking up development and rehabilitation activities in mining-affected areas, for COVID-19 containment activities, including the expansion of healthcare facilities in the district.
“The district has a large sum of DMF funds and there is no need for the district administration to seek money from the government for handling COVID-19. We will use these funds to take up extensive pandemic containment activities. Saving people’s lives is our first priority. We will positively take suggestions from all people’s representatives for controlling the pandemic and incorporate them in our plans,” Mr. Singh said.

He was addressing a review meeting at a conference hall on PDAA Football Grounds in Ballari on Monday.
Anticipating a third wave of the pandemic, Mr. Singh said that the administration is already making all preparations to face the situation by expanding medical infrastructure not just at the district headquarters but also in the taluk centres.
“We have decided to provide each one of the taluk hospitals with 10 ventilators and 10 dura cylinders. As many as 40 ventilators sent by the State government have already reached Ballari. We are in the process of expanding and upgrading the existing medical facilities by increasing bed capacity, appointing additional health staff, including doctors and nurses, and procuring other required equipment. In addition to 109 ambulances working in the district, we have planned to purchase more ambulances. We will shortly establish VRDL laboratories at Hosapete and Huvina Hadagali. Oxygen plants would be set up in the taluk hospitals. The funds under DMF would be used for the purpose,” Mr. Singh said.
The establishment of a temporary hospital with 1,000 beds with oxygen, including 40 Intensive Care Unit beds, Mr. Singh added, is being taken up at Toranagal with assistance from JSW Steel.

“Work has been put on the fast track. A public notice has been issued expressing interest in recruiting the required staff — doctors, staff nurses, laboratory technicians and others. The hospital is expected to be functional shortly,” Mr. Singh said.
Referring to the increased number of COVID-19 deaths in the district as compared to other districts, Deputy Commissioner Pavan Kumar Malapat told the meeting that patients with respiratory problems being rushed to hospitals in an advanced stage is the major reason for the increasing deaths. On vaccination, the officer said that of the 6,01,191 people in the 45-59 age group, 3,22,879 have taken the first dose and 31,573 have taken the second dose. Of the targeted 1,74,345 people aged above 60, 1,37,546 have taken the first dose and 33,733 have taken the second dose, Mr. Malapati added.
Social Welfare Minister B. Sriramulu, Lok Sabha member Karadi Sanganna and others were present.

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