Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, today in the sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while giving information about the plans and policies of the state government on various topics of state interest such as the development of industries, agriculture sector development, infrastructure development, an increase of irrigation facilities in Bastar region and development of Naxalite affected areas, requested the Prime Minister to provide additional economic resources to Chhattisgarh. Referring to the excellent performance done by the aspiring districts of Chhattisgarh on all the parameters of development, he suggested that in the concept of aspirational districts, the point of cultural upliftment should also be given due importance and place. Chief Minister suggested giving subsidy on vermicompost also like chemical fertilizers. He said that the NITI Aayog has appreciated the innovations in aspiring districts of Chhattisgarh through delta ranking. The Chief Minister said that Chhattisgarh is a forested, tribal-dominated and mineral-rich region, where a special package is expected for industrial development.
The Chief Minister said that Chhattisgarh is deprived of coal block despite having large reserves of mineral coal in Chhattisgarh. Hence coal block should be allotted for Chhattisgarh’s public sector unit. After 2014, the royalty rates of minerals have not increased, this has caused irreparable damage to the state government. Therefore, the royalty rates should be revised soon. The Chief Minister has also requested not to disinvest the Nagarnar Steel Plant of Bastar in the meeting. He said that a government resolution in this regard has also been passed in Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly.
Request for approval of cargo hub and port facility for export
Chief Minister requested for the approval of setting up of Cargo Hub in Raipur and to provide port facilities for the promotion of export and development of industries in the state. He said that Chhattisgarh is included in the landlocked states, so Chhattisgarh should be given an inland transportation grant for industrial activities for ease of transportation cost so that the development of export and agro-based industries could be accelerated in the state. Mr Baghel said in the meeting that it has been decided by the state government to buy Kodo-Kutki at the support price. Kodo-kutki is also in great demand abroad. Tribal farmers of the state will benefit from the export of these products. Chief Minister said that Chhattisgarh is one of the leading six states in the criteria of Ease of Doing Business.
In the new industrial policy of the state government, value addition in mineral resources, agriculture and forest produce is being promoted. Lac production and fisheries have been given the status of farming in Chhattisgarh. The steel industry was provided with subsidized power during the Corona period. Due to which Chhattisgarh was the leader in steel production. He said that 154 MoUs have been done in last two years for a capital investment of 56 thousand crores
Demand to allow ethanol production from surplus paddy
The Chief Minister said in the meeting that the state should be allowed to produce ethanol from surplus paddy. This will save the country’s foreign exchange, farmers will get good prices for their produce and employment opportunities will increase. He said that transportation and milling costs would be saved if ethanol production was allowed from paddy instead of rice. He also said that for the first time the rate of ethanol has been fixed by the Central Government at Rs 54.89 per litre, which should be further increased. An MoU has been signed in the state for ethanol production from sugarcane.
Chief Minister urges to procure 60 lakh metric tonnes of rice from Chhattisgarh in Central Pool
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that 92 lakh metric tonnes of paddy has been purchased from 20 lakh 58 thousand farmers in Chhattisgarh this year at the support price. An amount of Rs 17 thousand 322 crore is being paid to the farmers for this. He said that the Center had earlier announced to take 60 lakh metric tonnes of rice from Chhattisgarh in the Central Pool. But it was cut by 1.6 million tonnes. FCI granted permission to give rice only in October and November itself. In this season, only 24 lakh metric tonnes were allowed in the month of January. The Chief Minister has requested to procure the remaining 16 lakh metric tonnes of rice in the Central Pool.
Cooperation of Center sought for Bodh Ghat Multipurpose Irrigation Project
Chief Minister Baghel said that Indravati is the lifesaving river of the Bastar region, but due to not having a single dam on it, the percentage of irrigation in many districts of the Bastar region is zero to seven per cent. Bodhghat multipurpose irrigation project on Indravati has been proposed by the state government, this will expand the irrigation facility in the Bastar region. Chief Minister also requested the Prime Minister to provide assistance for this. Chief Minister informed that under Narva Yojana, in the last two years, the work of recharging 5000 drains has been started. So far 80 lakh structures have been built in 2500 drains.
Vermicompost products should also get subsidy like chemical fertilizers
Chief Minister Shri Bhupesh Baghel urged the Prime Minister to provide subsidy to vermicompost producing farmers of the state like chemical fertilizers. He informed that under the Godhan Nyaya Yojana, vermicompost from cow dung is being prepared by women self-help groups. Ten thousand Gothans have been sanctioned in the state, in which 60 thousand vermin tanks have been made. These are expected to produce 9 lakh quintal vermicompost in near future. Chhattisgarh is moving towards organic farming by promoting the use of vermicompost.
Relaxation of conditions for infrastructure development works in Naxalite affected areas
The Chief Minister said that in-principle approval for works worth Rs 392 crore has been given for the construction of roads and culverts in Phase 3 of the RPLWE scheme in Naxal-affected areas. But the Ministry of Rural Development has made a condition that it will be approved only on the completion of 50 per cent of the earlier sanctioned works. Chief Minister urged to relax these conditions and said that it is very difficult to work in Naxalite areas due to security reasons. Chief Minister said that Chhattisgarh has 44 per cent forest. Due to this, there are problems in providing electricity in some villages of the forest areas. Solar panels should be allowed to be installed for irrigation in these areas by giving exemption in the Forest Act. He said that due to increasing irrigation facilities in Naxal-affected areas, people will leave guns and take ploughs in their hands and move towards agriculture. This will reduce Naxalite activities.
Chief Minister said that in the monitoring indicator of the transformation of Aspirational District Program, education in the local dialect, reduction of malaria and anemia, purchase of forest produce on support price, promotion of folk art, folk dance and archeology, organic farming, forest rights lease etc. should be included. Regarding the development of digital infrastructure, the Chief Minister informed that work is in progress in 75 development blocks out of 85 blocks in the second phase of the BharatNet project. The proposal of CSC (Common Service Center) in these panchayats has been sent to the Central Government.
In the meeting, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel urged the Prime Minister to provide GST compensation, the amount of additional levy on coal, the remaining amount of rice in the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana under the PDS, as well as the state’s total amount of Rs 13 thousand 440 crores as soon as possible and to keep the amount of excise duty to be paid to the state, as it is. Chief Minister said that in the year 2020-21, the state is yet to receive an amount of Rs 3700 crore from the Central Government under GST compensation. Similarly, an additional levy of Rs 4140 crores on coal is to be received from private coal mines operating in the state before 2014. Apart from this, an amount of 5600 crores of rice has not yet been received under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana under the Public Distribution System. Chief Minister said that due to the imposition of agriculture infrastructure development cess in the Union Budget for the year 2020-21, the state is likely to suffer an additional loss of Rs 900 to one thousand crore in the next financial year. He said that the decision to set up the Agricultural Infrastructure Development Fund is welcome, but the state will face unprecedented financial losses due to the reduction in the amount of excise duty. Therefore, the amount received as excise duty is requested to be retained.
Chief Secretary Amitabh Jain, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Subrata Sahu, Principal Secretary Commercial Tax Department Gaurav Dwivedi, Secretary to Chief Minister Siddharth Komal Singh Pardeshi and Deputy Secretary Soumya Chaurasia were present in the meeting.