Chhattisgarh appears to have beaten the COVID-19 economic blues by ensuring 22 per cent higher GST collection in June this year in comparison to the corresponding month of the last year.
According to figures furnished by the state government, the GST collection jumped from ₹2,093 crore in June last year to ₹2,549 crore in June this year as the state eased the lockdown from May 15.
Chhattisgarh is among those few states in the country which could increase its GST collection from the corresponding period of previous year. Overall the country witnessed a fall in GST collection in June compared to the same period of last year.
“The government collected gross GST revenue of ₹90,917 crore in June 2020, which is 91 per cent of the collections in June 2019,” Office of finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted recently.
Even the land registration numbers in the mineral-rich state saw a 19 percent rise in June compared to the same month last year, according to the state government’s data.
For the turnaround, state’s agriculture minister and government spokesperson Ravindra Choube gave credit to uninterrupted agriculture and its allied activities during the lockdown and also the government’s policy of direct cash transfer in the bank account of beneficiaries.
“We have pumped around ₹53,000 crore in the market so far this year through various direct cash transfer schemes,” Choube told The Federal over the phone.
The state government procured 83.67 lakh tonnes of paddy from 18.34 lakh farmers at a minimum support price of ₹1,815 per quintal. From per farmers it procured 15 quintal of rice and transferred the money directly into their bank accounts.
Besides, under the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojna, rolled out by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on May 21, it transferred ₹10,000 per acre a year to the bank accounts of the state’s more than 18 lakh farmers.
Continuing works under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) during the lockdown period, the state achieved 37 per cent of its yearly job target within two months, the highest in the country.
The Union Rural Development Ministry had set the target for the state to create 288.14 lakh projected person days in April and May under the flagship rural employment generation scheme. The state during the period generated 503.37 lakh person days. The yearly target for the state is 1,350 lakh person days.
“During the entire lockdown period we have ensured smooth functioning of the rural economy and even the Reserve Bank of India has now praised the government for registering robust economic growth by keeping agricultural and allied activities functional during lockdown,” Choube said.
He further claimed that more than 80 per cent industrial units in the state had resumed operation, providing employment to more than 1.5 lakh people. Not only that, the state also received fresh investment worth ₹500 crore in 258 industrial units.
Choube said the state could bring the economy back on track because it successfully contained the COVID-19 pandemic. The state has logged 0.5 per cent COVID-19 mortality rate and 80.6 percent recovery rate with 772 active cases.