Goa CM Pramod Sawant presents first Budget after polls with no new taxes

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday presented a Rs 24,467.40 crore Budget with no additional taxes while putting stress on plugging revenue leakages. The Budget was presented in English and Konkani by the chief minister who was sworn in on Monday after the BJP under his leadership retained power in the Assembly elections.

His government’s focus was stopping revenue losses instead of levying new taxes, he said.

The Gross State Domestic Product of Goa for 2022-23 was estimated at Rs 91,416.98 crore, a growth of 7.07 per cent, Sawant said.

The growth rate of Gross Value Added (GVA) was estimated at 4.73 per cent for the primary sector, 6.52 per cent for the secondary sector and 9.66 per cent for the tertiary sector.

Goa’s per capita income at current prices continues to be among highest in the country at Rs 5.80 lakh, Sawant said.

The Budget also announced a Voluntary Retirement Scheme for government servants, the details of which would be made public later.

“There is a need to make the government administration more swift using technology. After a certain age, it becomes difficult to adapt to technological changes,” the chief minister said while announcing the VRS.

The allocation for the Health Department was increased to Rs 1,970.20 crore, 12.86 per cent more than in the previous fiscal.

Sawant also allocated Rs 173 crore for strengthening infrastructure at the Goa Medical College and Hospital.

He allocated Rs 20.12 crore for ‘Covid-19 Relief To Marginalized/Unorganized Sector’ scheme under which one-time financial relief is given.

To settle pending claims under the ‘Ex Gratia Financial Assistance to the family of the victims of Covid-19’ scheme which provides for one- time ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the family of deceased victims, Rs 20 crore were provided.

After the state reeled under floods during the last monsoon, Sawant proposed Rs 100 crore-worth ‘Flood Mitigation Project’ in the areas along the Mahadayi, Chapora, Mapusa and Khandepar rivers.

Sawant also said his government intends to notify new rules for casino operations under the Goa, Daman & Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976.

The Budget also proposed Rs five crore for promoting the arrival of international chartered flights — mainly used by tourists — in the state by bearing a part of parking and landing fees at the Dabolim International Airport.



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