Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday urged the Centre to extend the compensation grant by five years to states that lost revenue due to the implementation of Goods and Services Tax, PTI reported.
He made the demand while addressing the meeting of the governing council of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The meeting was attended by chief ministers of all the states except for Telangana’s K Chandrashekar Rao and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar.
“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,” Baghel said, according to PTI. “The compensation grant should be continued for the next five years after June 2022.”
In July 2017, the Centre said that the states will be compensated for any loss of revenue from the new tax for up to five years. That window expired on June 30.
Sixteen states have demanded that the compensation should be extended on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During Sunday’s meeting, Baghel claimed that Chhattisgarh received Rs 13,089 crore less from the central taxes in the Union Budget over the last three years.
“The situation led to extreme pressure on the resources of the state government,” he said.
At the meeting, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik suggested that NITI Aayog can resolve disputes related to Union government schemes between the Centre and states.
“We all accept that the state and central government are political entities and sometimes there are disputes in the implementation of central schemes,” Patnaik said, according to the Hindustan Times. “NITI Aayog can resolve these issues like an ombudsman.”
Patnaik also alleged that his state has been neglected when it comes to central list subjects such as telecom, railways and banking, according to the newspaper.
“We have the lowest density in all these crucial infrastructures and I would urge the central government to give special focus to Odisha,” the chief minister said.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann tabled a range of issues during the meeting.
“I went with a detailed homework today,” Mann said, according to ANI. “We are caught up in wheat and rice. Our water levels have decreased to a dangerous level... We demand MSP [minimum support price] for farmers.”
The Minimum Support Price is the rate at which the government buys farm produce and is based on a calculation of at least one-and-a-half times the cost of production incurred by farmers. Market rates for many crops are usually well below the Minimum Support Price.
Farmer leaders have been demanding that the minimum support price guarantee be extended to all produce, not just rice and wheat.
Meanwhile, NITI Aayog member and scientist, VK Saraswat, suggested that the Centre should focus on setting up small modular reactors as it would help meet the country’s energy needs and also in replacing ageing thermal power plants.
Small modular reactors are advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of up to 300-megawatt electrical per unit, which is about one-third of the generating capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors, according to PTI.