Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) Comments on Goa State Budget
“Various fees and cess related to mining have been reduced considerably. This reduction, coupled with the Export duty exemption announced by the Central Government will help in resuming mining activity in the State. This will naturally give a kickstart to rest of the State economy.”
The State Budget for 2016 -17 presented by Chief Minister today is on expected lines. Given the state of economy and limited revenue resources , he had a tough job on hand. While this Government has always given top priority to social welfare, restricting fiscal deficit to 2.84 % , which is within the 3% limit prescribed under FRBM must have been a challenge. The budget indicates that the state Debt to GSDP ratio is 17.07 % which is well below the prudential limit of 25%.
Social welfare still remains the top priority for this Government as is evident from various measures like increasing the monthly assistance under Grih Adhar, increased allocations for various welfare schemes, scheme for affordable housing for Government servants and accredited journalists, increase in pension for journalists , etc. He has shown his special focus on ensuring that the desired benefits reach the SC/ST beneficiaries by constituting a special task force in each department which will monitor implementation of schemes and utilisation of funds under SC/ST sub-plans.
This time there is also a lot of focus on creating infrastructure like new bridges, a 450 bed super speciality hospital , new building for Goa Museum, allotment of land for IITetc which will all benefit the people of Goa.
Various fees and cess related to mining have been reduced considerably. This reduction, coupled with the Export duty exemption announced by the Central Government will help in resuming mining activity in the State. This will naturally give a kickstart to rest of the State economy.
The Budget outlines many proposals for encouraging manufacturing sector in the State. Goa IDC processes are proposed to be streamlined and the Board will get more powers to respond to industry demands suitably. Electronic monitoring of proposals sanctioned by IPB is a welcome step. This will ensure timely clearances from various departments and early completion of projects. Special Cell under IPB is proposed to give appropriate support to start-ups which is in tune with Central Government initiatives like Make in india and Start-up India. Special focus is also promised on skill development of Goan youth which will help them find good employment opportunities. Measures like increasing the threshold limits for small businesses from 5 lakh to 10 lakh, increasing loan limits under CMRY scheme, task force under IPB to mentor and help start-ups , Digital Youth initiative , setting up an Incubation Centre at Udyog Bhavan etc will encourage young Goans to be entrepreneurs.
Industry was expecting a few tax concessions and incentives like exemption under NPV Scheme etc, but that has not happened. However it will benefit from improvement in infrastructure like better roads and bridges, augmentation of raw water supply and improved power situation, simplification of Goa IDC procedures etc.
The VAT on Petrol has been increased by about 7% which is bound to affect small vehicle operators like taxi drivers, motorcycle and rickshaw operators etc. Increase in taxes on liquor and casino fees have been increased and it impact on tourism will have to be seen.
Given the fact that mining has not yet started and there are limited revenue resources, Chief Minister had to take some bold decisions. But this may help the economy in the long run .
PRESIDENT – GCCI