The Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on Thursday told the state legislative assembly that the state’s debt liability was around 31.2 per cent of the state gross domestic product and well within the permissible limits, even as he went on to add that internal borrowings have always been there.
Responding to the queries raised by the members of the House during discussion on budget presented to the assembly on Monday, Mr Parrikar also said that the government has shown its concern for the people of the state by announcing schemes for the welfare of the people and allotting funds for development. He also stated that the deficit has increased because his government has to pay the past bills.
“Through this budget I have sought to give direction for employment generation (including self-employment) in the agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries sectors, which is likely to benefit around 6,000 youths in the financial year 2013-14,” he said, adding the beneficiaries would also get a stipend of `3,000-`5,000, and also for growth of the state.
Stating that the Dr Verghese Kurien employment scheme would be the game-changer in the state, he went on to add that the government would come up with exit policy, under which the dependents of any beneficiary who dies and is rendered incapable of running the business would not have to pay the remainder of loan amount or only a small part of it.
The Chief Minister said that the provision of reducing value added tax on aviation turbine fuel would have positive effect as more airlines would come to the state airport and serve as a bait to the airlines. He also said that cash was being automatically transferred to the beneficiaries of various government schemes. The public-private partnership projects, proposed by the government, have been done in most transparent manner and hence were above board.
The Chief Minister also said that preparation of budget was a huge exercise especially as this was a difficult time, even as he said that increase in infrastructure tax was only for commercial sector and not for residential. He said that money generated by increased infrastructure tax would be used for providing better infrastructure.
Mr Parrikar also sought to clarify allegations of nepotism leveled against him as regards to allotment of industrial plot to his son and said that whatever was done was as per law and that only offer of allotment has been issued to his son, even as he went on to add that the industrial estate at Tuem was yet to take shape and there was no basic infrastructure there yet.
“If I have done any loss to the state government using my position, then show it….I will resign and sit at home, he told the House that no plot has been allotted to his son in Tuem industrial estate. He maintained that it was for the first time that a procedure has been laid down for allotment of industrial plot. Mr Parrikar said that his son was capable of taking legal action against those who were maligning them.
To this the Congress legislator from Curtorim, Mr Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco said that if there was no basic infrastructure at Tuem Industrial estate then where was the need to give offer of allotment.
The Chief Minister said that the central government directive on renewal of mining leases to the state was not in accordance with the principle of federal political structure of India, even as stated that Goa being a separate state would go by the legal provisions in accordance with the Constitution as central government was not our boss.
Referring to allocation of funds by the Centre, Mr Parrikar said that the central government was not doing any favour by releasing funds. “We are getting what is rightfully due to us as per the formula in force,” he added.
He said that given the fact of huge increase seen in the air traffic at Dabolim, Mopa was necessity even as he went on to reassure the House and Goans that Dabolim airport would continue to exist even after Mopa comes and which was likely to be a success. He also said that it was unlikely that the Navy would give up its right over Dabolim airport. [NT]