15 Apr 2020  |   04:49am IST

GF opposes use of mining funds for COVID-19 purposes

GF opposes use of mining funds for COVID-19 purposes

Team Herald

PANJIM: Terming it as a ‘raid’ on the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund (GIOPF), Goa Foundation has warned the government it would bring to the notice of the Supreme Court the alleged illegal use of the mining funds towards the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

The government has decided to use 30 per cent of the GIOP, which is approximately Rs 120 crore and Rs 52 crore from the DMF towards fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a letter to Chief Secretary Parimal Rai, Goa Foundation director Claude Alvares said that the decision of the government is absolutely illegal, for which there will be consequences. 

He said that both funds collectively exceed Rs 800 crore. “Monies placed in the DMFs are, by law, only allowable to support activities that enhance the welfare and opportunities of persons directly affected by mining in the mining districts. People have suffered the worst effects of mining in these areas for several years and hence, by no stretch of the imagination or the law can the funds meant for them and their communities be used for government activity related to the COVID19 pandemic,” Alvares said. 

He also claimed that the Central government does not have any power to approve diversion of funds neither is there a provision in MMDR Act which allows such approvals. “DMF funds can only be administered by the District 

Committee headed by the District Collector in consonance with the Goa DMF rules, which largely follows the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) rules,” he added. 

Alvares said that no money should be transferred out of DMF for purposes other than the needs and requirements of persons affected by mining in mining areas. 

As regards, the proposal of ‘raiding’ the GIOPF, Alvares said the same will be brought to the notice of the Supreme Court, where the matter is pending consideration. “That fund is exclusively for the benefit of future generations and cannot be touched. It is conservation fund, not a spending fund,” he said. 


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