The leader of opposition Congress party in the state assembly, Mr Pratapsing Rane, on Wednesday cautioned the government against continuous borrowings and said that state was dangerously moving towards debt trap, even as he said the state’s liability was around 38 per cent of the state gross domestic product.
Participating in general discussion on the budget presented to the state assembly on Monday by the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, Mr Rane also said the situation in Goa (with market borrowing of 25 per cent) was almost like that in West Bengal, where the Finance Minister could hardly announce any social scheme.
The opposition leader further said that there have been heavy borrowings in the recent years resulting in the increase in the interest liabilities.
“The interest payment was `212 crore in the financial year 2011-12 which rose to `248 crore in 2012-13 and `309 crore in the year 2013-14. He said that repayment of loans would become difficult if the borrowings go on increasing.
Stating that crucial information as regards to state finances and planning was missing from the economic survey presented by the Chief Minister on Monday, Mr Rane wondered as to how the government arrived at figures relating to growth rate and formulating budget.
The opposition leader said that crucial information as regards to projected growth rate, etc was missing from the economic survey and government projections for the new financial year. He demanded that the government inform the House the revenue gained and lost during the last financial year.
Mr Rane told the House that the Mopa airport project would not only provide airline services to the people of the state but also ample job opportunities.
“Let us have both airports,” he said adding that all should support whatever was good for Goa and sort out small and frivolous differences that existed among the Goan leaders.
Mr Rane further said the Chief Minister is his last year’s budget had literally “rained” schemes, programmes on Goans, many of which have not taken off though a year has passed off since their announcement.
While the Chief Minister had stated that Babasaheb Ambedkar Housing Scheme would be revived, nothing happened to it and now he has come out with Atal Housing Policy. He also said the promised land acquisition policy was yet to be unveiled so also formation of Tourism Promotion Board.
Besides, unveiling of policy to give a thrust to agriculture, solution to medium of instruction issue, revival of Information Technology Habitat at Dona Paula, formulation of the Regional Plan 2021, solution to the Mayem evacuee property etc were yet to see light of the day even as he said that Goa Human Resource Development Corporation was yet to start functioning. He said that there was nothing for the poor in the budget who could be burdened with indirect value added taxation in days ahead, even as he said that there was no direction in the budget for development. He said that the government should give more powers to the zilla panchayats.
Patting the Chief Minister for “investment” in education, he went on to state that the technical education has been neglected and urged the government to give land for setting up National Institute of Technology with conditions that the same should be used within a timeframe. He also urged the government to bring good education policies. [NT]