Chhattisgarh gradually coming back on track, economic activities being gently resumed : CM Bhupesh Baghel

Raipur: Chief Minister Mr. Bhupesh Baghel, in his address to media representatives through video conferencing today, said that to keep up the progress of State’s economy, State Government is consistently ensuring flow of money towards labourers through MNREGA, towards tribal people through minor forest produce procurement and towards farmers through Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana, in this time of crisis during lockdown. Chhattisgarh is gradually heading towards normalcy and resuming economic activities. In the cabinet meeting held yesterday, a number of important decisions have been taken to accelerate economic activities in state.
In the meeting, we have taken an important decision, which we will start executing on Punyatithi of Ex-Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi Ji on May 21. Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana is a far-sighted decision and is a boon for farmers of Chhattisgarh in this time of crisis. No other state has taken such crucial step in the interest of farmers. We had promised farmers of the state that they would get full value of their agriculture produce. Many obstacles came in the way, people created problems, but we lived up to our commitment and fulfilled our promises.
Under Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojana, we would directly transfer the grant amount through Direct Benefit Transfer in the accounts of farmers at the rate of Rs 10 thousand per acre for paddy, corn and sugarcane crops on the basis of registered and procured area in kharif. For this, we have provisioned Rs 5100 crore in the budget. Under this scheme, 18 lakh 75 thousand farmers will be benefitted. Also in the upcoming years, farmers will be provided particular fixed amount per acre based on the registered and notified areas of pulses and oilseed crops. If the farmer entitled for the grant had taken paddy crop last year and this year he/she is farming crop other paddy, then the farmer would be provided additional aid.
Chief Minister said that State Government is making consistent efforts to put money in pockets of labourers, farmers and tribal people, as this would lead to smoother progress of trade, commerce and economy. Chief Minister said that Central Government has been requested to include agriculture works under MNREGA. MNREGA works would continue till rainy season. If agriculture activities are included under MNREGA, people will get continuous employment, input cost will get reduced and agricultural production will increase. Mr. Baghel said that with support and cooperation of common people, NGOs and servitude of officials and employees, Chhattisgarh has succeeded in preventing COVID-19 infection to a great extent.
In addition, we have decided to conduct excellent Hindi and English medium schools through registered societies. Nearly 40 such schools will be opened. Decision to integrate vocational certificate course of ITI with curriculum of 11th and 12th std in block headquarters has also been taken. Chief Minister told that two-month tax of buses and one-month tax of trucks have been waived off, in view of the total lockdown in Chhattisgarh. State Government has decided to build 40 thousand additional houses to provide proper housing facility to all the urban families. Besides, decision has also been taken to provide housing facility at minimum rate to tenants as well, under the scheme. Mr. Baghel said that keeping in view the current circumstances, APL families are also being provided maximum 2kg of refined iodized salt at Rs 10’kg at PDS shops. This will benefit nearly 9.04 lakh families of the state. State Government has decided to provide concession of 30% on government guideline rate on transaction of lands for entire year.
Presently Chhattisgarh has only 4 active corona positive patients. Out of total 59 positive cases, 55 have recovered and returned home. No deaths due to corona have been reported in the state. Chhattisgarh has recovery rate of 93%. In the state, total 27 thosuand 339 sample tests have been conducted and nearly 28 thousand 759 people have been quarantined. For 16,499 labourers returning from other states, quarantine centers have been established in villages itself. Total 623 quarantine centers have been established in border areas.
Mr. Baghel said that State Government had started taking the preventive measures soon after the corona virus infection was reported as pandemic. On January 27, we had constituted Rapid Response Team in all the districts. On January 20, screening at airport was started and by February 1, establishment of isolation hospitals was started. We took a voluntary decision to seal borders of Chhattisgarh from March 21 and declared lockdown on March 22. Presently, the testing capacity is 1200 sample per day.
Chief Minister said that when issue of students being stranded in Kota was being raised, I had already demanded Central Government to make train arrangements for return of labourers to their home state. May month was extremely important in terms of the return of labourers. Rainy season will start from next month, and therefore, it would become extremely difficult to arrange for quarantine centers for labourers, because of limited availability of resources. Number of labourers returning is way more than the capacity of aanganbadi schools and ashrams.
Chhattisgarh has always been on top in the country in terms of providing employment under MNREGA. 24% of the total number of labourers employed under MNREGA workers in the country is in Chhattisgarh alone. This is the highest in the country. Nearly 23 lakh labourers have been employed under various MNREGA works in 9883 gram panchayats of the state. Chhattisgarh also holds top rank in the country in terms of forest produce collection during lockdown. 99% of the total forest produce collected in the country is from Chhattisgarh alone. Mr. Baghel said that nearly 56.48 lakh families of the state have been provided one quintal 5kg of ration each, free of cost, for the month of April, May and June. ‘Padhai Tunhar Dwar’ web portal has been launched for online education in schools. Till date, 21 lakh 26 thousand students and 1.88 lakh teachers have been registered.
Mr. Baghel said that Central Government should provide financial aid of Rs 30 thousand crore for smooth execution of officials works and for relief and welfare works for needy families in the state. Informing about the cabinet’s decision, Chief Minister said that under bespoke policy in industrial policy, cabinet has decided to provide special incentive package for bio-ethanol production units. Paddy production in Chhattisgarh is likely to increase in upcoming years. Surplus paddy stock will then be utilized for bio-ethanol production