Centre not able to arrange coal, alleges Bhupesh Baghel

New Delhi [India], April 30 (ANI): As several states report power outages amid the coal crisis, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday slammed the Centre and alleged that it is not being able to arrange coal.

Baghel, who is in Delhi, said that coal is being imported at high prices adding that the Centre is not giving royalty to states. The Chief Minister further alleged that the Centre has put a halt on distributing coal supply to sectors other than the electricity department. "Coal being imported is coming at high prices and you are (Centre) not giving royalty to the states anyway. The Government of India is not able to arrange coal and other things. They have stopped distributing coal supply to sectors other than the electricity department," Baghel told media persons.

If there is no shortage of coal, why were the passenger train services shut? he asked. "Total 23 goods trains from Chhattisgarh were cancelled, then when I talked to the Railway Minister, six trains were started," he added.

When asked about any plans to reduce the value-added tax (VAT) in Chhattisgarh, Baghel asked, "Rates get increased by the Government of India and VAT should be decreased by the state? Are you (the Centre) giving GST completely to all states?"

"Chhattisgarh alone has to take Rs 30,000 crores of revenue for GST, central excise and coal penalty," Baghel added. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon Opposition-ruled states to follow the Centre's decision by reducing taxes on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the people from the price hike.