New Delhi : Asserting that state governments have been facing financial crunch due to constant increase in share for funding centrally-sponsored schemes, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel today demanded that the Centre should provide greater financial support for implementation of key government schemes and decrease the monetary burden on states.
He was speaking at the pre-budget meeting organized by the Ministry of Finance in New Delhi. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the meeting, attended by finance ministers of several states.
Referring to centrally-sponsored schemes such as ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’, Pradhan Mantri Housing Scheme, integrated child development scheme etc., the chief minister said the central government should change the central funding pattern and release more funds for effective implementation of such schemes.
Talking about the Rs 4 thousand 433 crore Bastar plan scheme, he said that the state has so far received just Rs 306 crore and demanded that remaining amount be disbursed at the earliest to ensure proposed development in infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, irrigation, drinking water and cleanliness.
On ‘Saubhagya scheme’, the chief minister said that the centre should provide relaxation in criteria of including villages having population of more than 100 in the scheme. ‘Majru-tolas’ (small villages) having a population of just 50 should also be included in the scheme and provided free electricity connection, he added.
In the meeting, he also demanded inclusion of farmers, being benefitted under the Recognition of Forest Rights Act, in the ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Nidhi Yojana’ and said that these farmers should be given Rs 12 thousand instead of Rs 6 thousand as financial support every year. He added that more than 80 lakh tonne of paddy have been procured in Chhattisgarh in Kharif season 2018 after MSP of paddy has been increased to Rs 2500 per quintal.
He also urged that the share of 24 lakh tonne rice taken in the central pool through FCI should be increased. He informed that Chhattisgarh has been planning to provide 35 kg rice per ration card under food for all scheme to ensure food security to all the families and urged the Centre to disburse lump sum payment on time for the expenses.
Referring to ‘Narwa, Garwa, Ghurwa, Baadi’ scheme, he said funds under MNREGA, national agriculture development, national livestock development etc have been utilized for the scheme and demanded that the state should be given additional grant for these schemes. He also demanded additional fund for welfare schemes of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
The chief minister also demanded approval for construction of international cargo terminal at Raipur airport and inland transport grant for industrial activities. He also urged the Centre to open campus of ‘Kendriya Adiwaasi Vishwavidyalay’ Amarkantak in Bastar and opening of UGC office in Raipur.