Aam Admi Party, Goa has called the Goa Budget 2016-17 directionless, inflationary and devoid of substance.
A press release issued by the party stated ” The SGDP is pegged to grow at the rate of 10%, which looks highly unlikely given that tourism and manufacturing are not growing and no mining activity is happening.”
AAP also highlighted that the economic survey is not released to get the statement of account.
The other observations by AAP on the state budget are as follows
- The Govt has claimed to boost mining by revising the various fees levied under the Goa (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Storage and Transportation of Minerals) Rules, 2013. Even after the revision of the same, and due to the prevailing commodity prices in international market, mining activity is uneconomical in the state of Goa ie the cost of extraction and transportation put together is more than the price of the ore itself. And hence this is only an eye wash announcement with no change on ground reality adds the press release.
- The govt should have initiated steps to bring the hotels in unorganised sector into the tax net to improve their tax collection; instead the govt has reduced the threshold of charging the Luxury tax from Rs 1000 to Rs 750, also the offseason exemptions are reduced. This would further stress the already stressed sector.
- The govt talks about doubling the tourists but the reality is just opposite. Our charter flights have reduces by 50% and the Govt has also increased the VAT on jet fuel which will again discourage the charter movement. The govt has to remember that other international destinations are much cheaper and have better infrastructure compared to Goa.
- Which brings to the failure of the govt to address the fundamental issues of the industry, namely, better infrastructure, improving the public transport, solving the garbage menace, better policing to name a few…..
- There is no concrete proposal on the Regional Plan which the budget addresses. This is one of the most important policy document which gives the state direction. And devoid of the same, there will be no new investment and no major fillip to our GDP.
- The VAT of Petrol has been increased back to 22% completing the U turn on all fronts of their memorandum. This Govt is developing a culture of being very high on rhetoric only.
- The govt is estimating the total size of budget to be approx. 14700 cr. And revenue receipts at approx. 10641 cr. The plan capital outlay is estimated at 4000 cr, if one sees the execution in the past, it was not even close to the above figure. So how is the Govt going to achieve the same? Now of the revenue, there is a salary bill of approx. over 5500cr and over 1500 cr towards interest payment that leaves the state with not enough fund which leads to lack of development and incomplete implementation of budget.
- Presently there is a debt of around 16000 cr and this budget plans to borrow another 3500 cr to make up the difference. This will be a huge burden on the future generation and the growth rate of the state. The Govt conveniently talks about the deficit in terms of percentages and hides the absolute number which will weight going forward.
- On removing the Cashew Fenny from the country liquor list and declaring the same as heritage drink, we feel this is a positive move that should have come very much in advance.
- This Budget, the Govt seems to have forgotten the manufacturing sector totally. With slowing global economies and challenges the industry faces the Govt has again given a blind eye to the requests of the industry. This is one sector that has the potential to create/provide jobs to the Youth of the state, and since no new investment is seen in near future owing to the existing capacities and slowing international economies.
- The negatives of the budget outweigh the few positives in the budget. To conclude we could like to point that in the past implementation on the budget has been less than 50% and given that the govt doesn’t itself know the economic situation (that’s the reason the economic survey is not published) and the mismatch of revenue to expenditure will be in deficit (if one analysis the figure in detail – given the overall slowdown) we feel the budget implementation will be around or below 25 % only. This will be a disastrous for the welfare of the state.