Slowdown: Chhattisgarh bucks trend with rise in GST receipts, vehicle sales

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The Chhattisgarh government on Thursday said it has started to buck the nationwide trend of economic distress. It said the state’s goods and services tax (GST) receipts and increased demand for motor vehicles in the month of June are evidence that it is now on the path of economic revival. The state government credited this revival to it putting more money in people’s pockets that has increased demand. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said Chhattisgarh is the leading state in the country in providing employment under the MNREGS rural employment guarantee scheme in the months of April, May and June.

Baghel said his government brought relief to forest dwellers by increasing procurement prices for purchase of forest produce and ensuring timely record procurement of minor forest produce. Chhattisgarh was one of the first states to allow economic activities during the Covid-19 lockdown, particularly reopening of factories and motor vehicle showrooms.

The state government said that the GST collection in June increased by 22 percent compared to the collection in the corresponding month last year. It said that GST receipts of June 2019 were Rs 2093 crore, which increased to Rs 2549 crore in June this year. The government said while Jaipur in Rajasthan has recorded the maximum sale of cars and bikes across India in June 2020, Chhattisgarh’s Raipur is on the second number in vehicle sales. In May, 7,603 motorbikes were sold in Raipur. This number increased to 27,000 in June, the government said. In May, Raipur saw sale of 1,107 cares. This increased to sale of 2,889 cars in June.

According to the Regional Transport Office data, 891 vehicles were registered in April, 9,681 in May and 32,982 vehicles were registered in the state in June. The government said that farmers in the state have purchased nearly 3,000 new tractors after receiving the first installment of the Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyaya Yojana. The Rajiv Gandhi Nyaya scheme was launched in the third week of May. In the first instalment, the state government transferred Rs 1,500 crore into the accounts of more than 18,000 farmers. The state government has allocated Rs 5,750 crore for the scheme to benefit farmers sowing 14 types of crops.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the state government has generated employment of 8.85 crore man days in the first quarter of this year. He said 55,981 families have received employment of 100 days in April, May and June, and that 41 percent of the total number of families getting employment of 100-days across the country are from Chhattisgarh alone. The state government said that Chhattisgarh has achieved 66 per cent of the target of generating employment this year. Baghel said his government ensured collection of nearly 1.5 quintals of minor forest produce, which is worth nearly Rs 104 crore, this fiscal. “Chhattisgarh has achieved its target for the year within six months,” a statement said.

The state government pointed to a survey report of CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) to claim that the rate of unemployment in the state in April month was 3.4 per cent, the lowest in 12 months and significantly less that the national rate of unemployment of 23.5 per cent. A Reserve Bank of India RBI report states that even during the nationwide lockdown, Chhattisgarh has experienced accelerated economic growth, the state government said.

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