Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in a pre-budget meeting in the national capital on Friday asked the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to return the National Pension Scheme (NPS) amount and said that the state’s share will be deposited in a separate fund.
New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in a pre-budget meeting in the national capital on Friday asked the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to return the National Pension Scheme (NPS) amount and said that the state’s share will be deposited in a separate fund.
CM Baghel asked Sitharaman to return Rs 17,240 crores of the NPS and said that the share will be deposited in the separate pension fund, which will be used to meet pensionary obligations in future. Along with this, it will be invested in the Government of India and State Government securities, he said.
The meeting took place at the Sir Manekshaw auditorium today at 11 am with the primary agenda to assess preparations for the presentation of the Union Budget, 2023-24. It was also attended by the Finance Ministers of other states as well.
Demanding a refund of NPS amount, the chief minister said that the state government has restored the old pension scheme in Chhattisgarh for securing the future of government employees and their families. “Rs 17,240 crore deposited with National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) till March 31 should be returned so that it can be put in the General Provident Fund of the employees,” he added.
CM Baghel further said that Chhattisgarh had requested to continue the system of GST compensation grant for the next five years after June 2022, but it was not increased and hence demanded Rs 1,875 crores for GST compensation.
He also urged to transfer of the coal royalty amount of Rs 4,140 crore to the state at the earliest.
Meanwhile, he requested to release of Rs 1,288 crores spent on central security forces and 313 crores spent by the state government on four special and Indian defence forces deployed in the state.
CM Baghel referred that the year 2023, which was declared by the United Nations as the ‘International Year of Millet’, the chief minister said that Kodo, Kutki and Ragi (Millets) are mainly cultivated in Chhattisgarh and urged the Center to declare minimum support price for Kodo and Kutki crops to promote Millets crops. He demanded the setting up of marketing centres on the lines of C-Mart so that agriculture, handicrafts and minor forest produce products could be promoted.
The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister also insisted that incentive grants should be given to states with better financial management to motivate others to adopt financial discipline.
He said revenue deficit grants are being given by the central government to many such states, which have been running huge revenue deficits continuously for the past several years. He added that Chhattisgarh has been able to achieve better financial management and strict financial discipline since the inception of the state. The state has been mostly in a state of continuous revenue surplus.
Even after experiencing a revenue deficit due to the non-receipt of expected financial assistance from the Central Government during the Covid crisis in financial years 2019-20 and 2020-21, Chhattisgarh registered a revenue surplus of Rs 4,642 in Chhattisgarh in the year 2021-22 as a result of better financial management and strict financial discipline.
“The state had taken a net loan of only Rs 1,243 crore last year and this year also no loan has been taken by the state so far. We demand that incentive grants should be given to states with better financial management like Chhattisgarh, so that other states can also be motivated for financial discipline,” Baghel added.
The Chief Minister also reiterated the state’s demand for a refund of NPS amount, GST compensation and transferring of the amounts collected as ‘additional levy’ from coal block companies.
He further gave suggestions regarding the revision of royalty rates of major minerals, incentive grants to states with better financial management, a continuation of a special assistance scheme, starting off an International Cargo Terminal in Raipur, and an increase in central schemes.
The discussion was also held on the need for paddy and gunny bags. The Chief Minister said that in the year 2022-23, a target has been given to supply 57 lakh metric tonnes of Arva and 4 lakh metric tonnes of parboiled rice in the central pool and also requested the Central Government to increase the target of procurement of par-boiled rice to 14 lakh metric tonnes. Along with this, he also demanded to ensure the availability of new jute gunny bags to the state.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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