Baghel SOS to Centre: Help Chhattisgarh

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to grant adequate revenue to Chhattisgarh, saying the state faced “a financial crunch”.

“Pandemic-hit Chhattisgarh is facing a financial crunch and desperately needs financial help from Centre,” he said in a letter to the Minister.

Baghel asked the Minister to change the yardsticks of financial assistance under the 15th Finance Commission in the wake of Covid-19.

“The Centre must also help those states who had better financial discipline earlier but have performed badly due to the pandemic conditions,” he said.

The state had also suffered revenue loss due to implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) and thus the compensation grant for it, which is to end in 2022, should be extended for another five years, he said.

Baghel also demanded the pending Rs 4,140 crores to Chhattisgarh arising from the cancellation of the state’s coal block allocations.

The Centre must increase its share in the Centre-assisted schemes, he said.

The Central government should also reduce the cess on petrol and diesel so that their prices are brought down, he said.