Mineral-rich Chhattisgarh has failed to utilise the funds collected under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) trust in the Maoist-infested pockets of the state.
Though the overall utilisation of DMF funds in the state has been about 78 per cent, it is dismal in the districts affected by what the government descrives as Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
“The state received Rs 1,080.18 crore in the DMF funds across the 27 districts in the financial year 2018-19; of the amount collected, Rs 845.64 crore was utilised,” Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel informed the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly today.
After coal-rich Korba district, Dantewada had been the largest contributor to the state’s DMF kitty. The district has been infamous for the deadly Maoist violence in the past. The pocket has been endowed with world-class iron-ore deposits. State-run National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) runs two complexes in the district with a capacity of 25 million tonnes per annum. It has lion's share in the DMF trust.
Dantewada collected Rs 166.89 crore in the DMF trust in 2018-19, the chief minister said in a written reply. Of the amount, only Rs 101.53 crore could be used. Bastar was another insurgency-hit district where Rs 106.60 crore was collected but only Rs 25.04 crore could be used.
In Bijapur district, a major part of which has seen Maoist violence, Rs 62.20 crore was collected in the DMF. Of this, authorities could ulitise only Rs 24.40 crore.
Sukma is the only district among the seven in the restive Bastar division to fully utilise the DMF funds. It surpassed the target and used Rs 48.22 crore from the DMF head against Rs 41.74 crore collected. In Kanker, Rs 36.67 crore was collected, while Rs 16.54 crore was used. Similarly, Rs 20.83 crore was collected in Narayanpur and Rs 21.51 crore in Kondagaon. The fund utilisation in both the districts was Rs 15.58 crore and Rs 11.52 crore, respectively.