The Economy of Chhattisgarh has been affected by Covid-19: CM Bhupesh Baghel

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It has been reported that the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said the state is not financially sound, as of now, and requested the Centre to release all grants so that the state can continue implementing centrally-funded welfare schemes.

CM Baghel has written to Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman that the economy of Chhattisgarh has been affected by Covid-19 and funds from the Centre should “continue to be released”. Baghel also urged Sitharaman to extend the compensation period of GST.

Public Welfare Schemes

Stating that Chhattisgarh, like any other state, has limited financial resources, the CM has written that revenue issues are becoming a hurdle in the smooth functioning of public welfare schemes, the company said.

“The economy has been majorly affected in the past two years due to the pandemic. The state might suffer more revenue shortfall if the desired GST compensation isn’t released by the Centre.

Chhattisgarh should have received Rs 6,500 crore through GST from the Centre in the current fiscal but it will get only Rs 1,700 crore in the first quarter of next fiscal, while the Centre hasn’t made any provision to compensate the revenue loss of Rs 5,000 crore,” the CM has pointed out.

Central Schemes

The Centre’s share in central schemes in Chhattisgarh was Rs 7,658 crore in 2014-15, when the state’s share was Rs 2,622 crore. This was in the ratio 75:25. Now, in 2021-22, the ratio has changed to 64:36, with the Centre’s share being Rs 9,794 crore and the state’s contribution Rs 5,592 crore, the company said.

There is an average reduction of 11% in the Centre’s share, leading to a financial burden on the state, Baghel has written.

A Penalty From Coal Miners

He also urged the Union finance minister to release Rs 4,140 crore collected as a penalty from coal miners after the Supreme Court cancelled allocation of 215 coal blocks in 2014 and a penalty of Rs 295 per tonne was imposed on companies.

In his letter, Baghel also appealed to the Centre to permit the state to manufacture ethanol from surplus paddy.

“We have already signed MoUs with a few private companies for ethanol production, but haven’t received any cooperation from the Centre, hence it is expected,” the CM has written… (timesofindia)