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Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India], September 22 (ANI): Expressing resentment against the central government for not giving permission to Chhattisgarh for ethanol production from paddy, state Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday said the state has infrastructure and paddy surplus for ethanol production.
Addressing the inaugural event of the two-day 'Vanijya Utsav' here on Tuesday, the Chief Minister emphasised that Chhattisgarh is rich in natural resources and carries immense potential for industry and trade.
"The state is known as the rice bowl of the world. Nowhere in the world produces so many varieties of rice. We used to export steel and rice primarily. The state has the resources of land, forest and water. Plus we also have the minerals. Bhilai Steel plant had proved to be the backbone of the economy of the state. That was the beginning of the industrial journey of Chhattisgarh," said Baghel.
The Chief Minister said that the "entire economy" is the game of demand and supply.
"Once our country did not have enough grains to feed its citizen. We had to import the grains. Now after the green revolution, we have a surplus of grain. As a result, farmers are not getting even the fair price of their crops. Now it becomes necessary to make alternative use of crops," he said.
Baghel pointed out that India imports petroleum products, and if ethanol and other petroleum products are made in the country then we can save a lot of money.
"We can make ethanol from paddy, sugarcane and even maize. We already made plants of producing ethanol from sugarcane and maize. We have surplus paddy. We have urged the Centre to give us permission to make ethanol from paddy. But the central government is not giving permission. It has been 2.5 years, I have been seeking permission. Is not it a national loss?" asked the Chief Minister.
He said once there was a boom in the field of power and energy sector when several power plants were established. "But again, there becomes an imbalance of demand and supply. Now there is surplus power and plants incurred losses," he added.
Emphasising the importance of green energy, the Chief Minister said that Chhattisgarh has now shifted its focus to renewable energy.
"We are moving towards green energy. Initiatives have been taken to produce electricity from cow dung. Several MoUs have been signed. Businessmen are very enthusiastic about producing electricity from cow dung," said Baghel.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that logistical issues remain a major constrain for Chhattisgarh.
"Chhattisgarh is a landlocked state. The port is around 900 km. Our industry says they do not get rakes. We need air cargo. We have urged the central government to give permission to Chhattisgarh for air cargo. I have met so many times with the union minister but they are reluctant to give permission," he added. (ANI)