NITI meet: CMs of non-BJP ruled states ask Centre not to force its decisions
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel sought 5-year extension for GST compensation, revision of rates of royalty to his state for coal and other minerals. PM Modi praised Chhattisgarh's Godhan Nyay Yojana
Chief ministers of some non-BJP ruled states on Sunday asked the Centre not to "force" its policies but to strengthen cooperative federalism and also sought a five-year extension for the compensation paid to states for revenue shortfall due to GST implementation.
Issues related to Minimum Support Price(MSP) of crops, support to states in dealing with natural disasters, crop insurance and Kisan credit cards, irrigation facilities, revision of royalty rates for minerals, the National Education Policy, etc were also raised by the chief ministers at the meeting of the NITI Aayog's Governing Council chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel reiterated his demand to the Centre seeking a five-year extension for the compensation paid to states for revenue shortfall due to GST implementation and called for revising the rates of royalty for coal and other major minerals from the state.
Addressing the meeting, Baghel pressed for the state's demand of GST compensation, transfer of the amounts collected as 'additional levy' from coal block companies and reimbursement of expenditure of Rs 11,828 crores made by the state government for eradication of Naxalism.
There has been a loss of revenue to states due to the GST tax system and the Centre has not made arrangements to compensate the loss of revenue of about Rs 5,000 crore to the state in the coming year, so the GST compensation grant should be continued for the next five years after June 2022, the chief minister was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his government.
Non-BJP ruled states, such as Chhattisgarh (Congress ruled), Kerala (LDF government) and Rajasthan (Congress ruled), have in the past also demanded that the compensation regime be extended by five years, the statement said.
Noting that about 65 per cent of the mineral revenue of the state is the source of iron ore mines operating in the state, he called for a revision of royalty rates as necessary in the financial interest of the state. Baghel requested a revision in the rates of royalty for coal and other major minerals.
He also called for speedy action on other pending demands of the state government including a refund of deposits in the New Pension Scheme and ensuring the availability of jute gunny bags.
The chief minister noted that NITI Aayog has appreciated the better performance of the aspirational districts of the state in the last three and a half years.
While speaking on the agenda of urban administration, Baghel pointed out that Chhattisgarh has won the state clean survey for three consecutive years, the statement said.
Prime Minister Modi praised Chhattisgarh's Godhan Nyay Yojana at the NITI Aayog meeting, saying that the scheme is in the interest of the farmers as vermicompost prepared from cow dung helps in increasing the productivity of the field, the statement said.
Baghel also suggested that MGNREGA should be implemented in rural areas located near cities and cities with a population of less than 20,000.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren sought a special package from the Centre to deal with the drought-like situation in the state, a statement issued by his office said.
He also demanded a package for the development of irrigation facilities in the state. Seeking NITI Aayog's intervention, he asked for necessary instructions to facilitate approval of the Kisan Credit Card by all banks.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee emphasised that the Centre should look into the demands of the state governments "more seriously", according to official sources.
No policies should be forced on state governments and they should not be pressured to implement the National Education Policy (NEP), she said at the meeting and called for "greater cooperation" between the Centre and the states.
Speaking in the same vein, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Centre should not go against the federal structure of the Constitution and legislation on subjects listed in its concurrent list should be carried out in consultation with the states.
Vijayan said the central government should refrain from making laws on matters in the State list of the Constitution.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann raised the issue of granting a legal guarantee for Minimum Support Price (MSP) on crops to safeguard the interest of farmers.
The AAP leader also urged the Centre to ensure a foolproof marketing system for alternative crops.
Mann said Agriculture is no longer a profitable venture and all out efforts must be made to bail out farmers from this situation for which the Union government must step in, according to an official statement.
(With PTI inputs)