RAIPUR: Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel attended the virtual meeting of CMs from all the states of the country, chaired by Union Finance Minister Dr Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.
During this Baghel demanded that Chhattisgarh should be given permission to produce ethanol from paddy, requested the Centre to reconsider the decision of not procuring Usna Rice from Chhattisgarh and demanded to return Chhattisgarh’s share of coal penalty worth Rs 4140 crore and reduce cess on petrol-diesel.
Chhattisgarh state is known as the ‘rice bowl’, where paddy is produced in abundance. Baghel said that for the last two-three years, the state government had been seeking the permission to produce bio-ethanol from surplus paddy. The production would benefit the state and the farmers, and it would also save the foreign exchange spent by the Centre on import of petroleum products.
Chief minister Baghel told the Union finance minister that the state government has made all the preparations to manufacture ethanol from paddy in the state.
MoUs have also been signed with 12 companies for setting up bio-ethanol plant. He also informed that the state has got permission to produce ethanol from sugarcane and maize.
He requested the Union finance minister to get permission for Chhattisgarh to manufacture ethanol from paddy.
Discussing issue of rejecting procurement of state’s Usna variety of rice by centre, Chief Minister said that the Food Ministry of Government of India has given consent to take 61.65 lakh metric tonnes of rice from Chhattisgarh in year 2021-22. But the decision of Central Government to not take Usna rice from Chhattisgarh is not in the interest of the state, its millers and workers.
He said that there are about 500 Usna mills in the state with a production capacity of 5 lakh metric tons per month. This decision of Central Government would shut down these mills, leaving the labourers here unemployed.
Chief minister said that Centre has been taking Usna rice from the state in the past. He requested Union Finance Minister to reconsider the said decision of the Central Government.
In the meeting held, CM Baghel requested the Union minister to return Rs 4140 crore worth of Chhattisgarh’s share in the coal penalty, which has been deposited in the Central Pool by the Union govt.
He said that Union coal minister has given in-principle consent regarding the refund of this amount of coal penalty, but the action on this consent is to be taken by the finance ministry.
Baghel also requested conversion of the revenue deficit of 15th Finance Commission into a grant. He said that in the financial year 2021-22, 17 states are being provided a grant of Rs One lakh 18 thousand 552 crore.
This grant should be provided on the basis of revenue deficit from the year 2021-22 to 2024-25 to support the Covid-affected economies of the states.