CG NEWS REPORTER. RAIPUR

In the esteemed presence of Chairman 15th Finance Commission Mr. NK Singh and Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Mr. Bhupesh Baghel, an important meeting of State’s Cabinet Ministers, Commission members and senior officials of the state was held today at Atal Nagar, Nava Raipur, Mantralaya. Mr. Baghel said that Chhattisgarh state has immense scope of development and also has its share of challenges. Chhattisgarh has a long way to go on the path of development while living up to the potential and overcoming the challenges.

He gave detailed information about the important decisions, programmes and works being done in the state for development of the state. Mr. Baghel gave seveal proposals of public welfare and requested support of the Commissioner in those matters. He made special request to the Commission for support in the sectors of health, employment and malnutrition.

Chief Minister informed that 14 out of 27 districts in the state are affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and it is challenging to maintain law and order in these areas, also cost of infrastructure development is also high. Mining under industrial projects leads to displacement of people in tribal areas, minimizing the chances of their participation in the development of the state. State Government advocates sanction of additional financial resources for development of tribal people as well as balanced industrial development.

he said, Government of India is making efforts to double the income of farmers. Two major decisions have been taken to make paddy farming profitable. In addition to the support price, bonus at the rate of Rs 750 per quintal is also being provided. In year 2018-19, State Government had to bear the additional expenses of Rs 6 thousand 21 crore. Loans of nearly 17 lakh 50 thousand farmers were waived off, which created additional pressure of nearly Rs nine thousand crore.

Under Food Security Act, BPL as well as normal families are being provide 35kgs of rice on ration card. Estimated expenditure on implementation of this scheme of Universal PDS is Rs 2200 crore. Electricity bills of up to 400 units have been halved. Estimated expenditure on this is nearly Rs 800 crore.

By year 2022, estimated revenue deficit to be incurred by the state is Rs 17 thousand 255. GST compensation grant sanctioned by the Centre is not sufficient, and it will be stopped in year 2022. Chief Minister suggested that after year 2022 also, compensation amount should be provided to states for next five years.

Chief Minister told that 14th Finance Commission had increased the states’ share in central taxes to 42%, but because of the sub-taxes, surcharge and tax rebates, States’ have not been able to receive 42% share in reality.  He proposed that states’ share in central taxes should be increased from 42% to 50%.

Chief Minister said that after the formation of Chhattisgarh, the state has maintained extraordinary financial discipline. Chief Minister said that because of the mutual conflict in the matter, it should be discontinued. He requested that in place of Revenue Deficit Grant, Equalization Grant should be provided for health, education and infrastructure development.

Chief Minister said that Chhattisgarh Government has presented proposals worth Rs one lakh 76 thousand 215 crore for state-special grants. From the time of state formation, Chhattisgarh has not received any special financial aid from Centre. He requested the Commission to consider the proposals and the suggestions provided for revenue distribution among states on a serious note.

Chairman of the Commission Mr. NK Singh said that keeping in view the problems faced in naxal-affected areas and forest region, the proposals given by Chief Minister Mr. Baghel will be addressed on a considerate note. In the meeting, Cabinet Ministers namely Mr. Tamradhwaj Sahu, Mr. Mohammad Akbar, Dr PremSai Tekam, Dr Shivkumar Dahariya, Mrs. Anila Bhediya, Mr. Umesh Patel, Mr. Amarjeet Bhagat, members of Finance Commission namely Mr. Ajay Narayan Jha, Dr Anup Singh, Dr Ashok Lahiri, Mr. Ramesh Chand, Secretary Finance Commission Mr. Arvind Mehta, State Government’s Chief Secretary Mr. Sunil Kujur, Additional Chief Secretary Finance Mr. Amitabh Jain, Additional Chief Secretary Forest Mr. CK Khetan, Additional Secretary Agriculture Mr. KDP Rao and senior officials of State Government were present.