Odisha collects Rs.90 crore under district mineral fund

Bhubaneswar : The Odisha government has so far collected Rs.90 crore under the district mineral fund (DMF) that would be used for the socio-economic development of mineral bearing districts, an official said on Friday. "We have started collecting funds for the DMF. We will soon put the funds into use for the development of the concerned districts. Till now we have collected around Rs.90 crore from four districts, namely, Angul, Keonjhar, Sundergarh and Jajpur," said Steel and Mines Secretary R.K. Sharma at the Minerals and Metals Odisha Conclave 2016 organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce's Odisha chapter here. Collection is in progress in other districts as well, he added. Under DMF, leaseholders pay an additional amount beyond the royalty for development of mineral bearing areas. The state government also informed that it would put three to four more mines on auction in next six months. Mines director Deepak Mohanty said the state government plans to put three more iron ore mines on auction in next four to six months. The annual conclave discussed steps taken for the development of the mining and steel industry in the state. Vishal Aggarwal, chairman of ICC-Odisha chapter urged the government for a financial package to ensure profitability and sustainable growth of the steel and metal industries as the global steel market is going through a slow down.