Raipur. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that the Central government had provided Rs 286 crore to Chhattisgarh without interest for 50 years, but the state government did not use this fund meant for the development of state and subsequent employment for people during the Covid period. Moreover, the Centre had granted permission for 2 per cent additional borrowing to the state, but the state government did not respond. “We had granted Rs 286 crore to Chhattisgarh in the last fiscal under Atma Nirbhar Package. The state government could have picked any project as per its choice and implemented it. The main objective of the package was to create employment for people through infrastructure development in the state. But the state government did not implement it,” said the Union Finance Minister in a press conference during her Raipur visit on Tuesday.
She said that the Centre has been giving Chhattisgarh its rights to fund grants under various projects. It was the duty of the state government to implement the schemes by adding its share to them and extending benefits to the poor. But the Congress government of Chhattisgarh returned it to the Centre instead of implementing them. To a query, Sitharaman said that ‘loot’ is in the DNA of Congress. Congress had been indulging in loot only, said Sitharaman.
On the political drama unfolding in Chhattisgarh, the Union Minister commented, Sorry to say, Congress cannot digest majority. She cited former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was sworn in as Prime Minister of India with 400 parliamentary seats, but he failed to manage.
Similarly, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel is more attentive towards his chair than the people. Despite the absolute majority, he feels unsafe and frequently sends his MLAs to Delhi, said Sitharaman. She praised former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh’s tenure as Chief Minister. She said that he had worked for the poorest of the poor.
On petrol and diesel prices, the Finance Minister said that it is under both Centre and the states. Value Additional Tax imposed by the state is a significant contributor to the price hike. Similarly, India imports 99 per cent of fuel.
The Finance Minister said that Chhattisgarh received Rs 216.94 crore against 2,309,719 enrolments under PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Rs 44.88 crore against 7,555,276 enrolments under PM Suraksha Bima Yojana. Similarly, Rs 29,955.44 crore has been disbursed against the sanctioned amount of Rs 31,555.66 crore for Chhattisgarh under PM Mudra Yojana. Amounts sanctioned under this scheme are 6,233,969.
Chhattisgarh has sanctioned Rs 612.33 crore against 798 loan accounts under the Standup India scheme. Chhattisgarh has sanctioned 197,457 accounts under Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) against which Rs 4,349.85 crore was sanctioned. Accounts disbursed under ECLGS are 130,210, and the amount disbursed is Rs 3,801.87 crore.
Chhattisgarh has so far received Rs 3990.87 crore under PM KISAN Samman Nidhi against 34,38,378 beneficiaries. The state has been provided Rs 43,274 under PM Street vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi.
1,56,51,842 accounts, including 8,692,076 accounts of women, were opened in Chhattisgarh under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Balance in Accounts under the scheme is Rs 4,510.52 crore.
The Finance Minister was accompanied by former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, Rajya Sabha MP Saroj Pandey and MLA Brijmohan Agrawal.