Within hardly three days of swearing-in ceremony, it was expected that the Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant would pass Vote on Account rather than presenting a full budget 2022-23. It appears to be an overestimated budget, prepared hurriedly without any inputs from various stakeholders.
The Chief Minister has presented the budget outlay of 24467 crores. Revenue expenditure is estimated at 17097 crores and capital expenditure at 7367 crores. With no further increase in taxation, it is to be seen how this additional budget outlay will be achieved. The Chief Minister said that Government intends plugging of revenue leakages and strict compliances. However, much will depend on efficiency of the Government.
We find that, in the budget, there is no focus on revenue generating sectors of the economy. There is hardly any budget outlay to develop infrastructure in the Industrial Estates. At present, industrial sector contributes nearly 40% of State’s GDP. The infrastructure in the Industrial Estates is very pathetic and no new manufacturing industries are coming to Goa. To add to it, the existing industries are going outside the State for expansion.
It is very discouraging to note that recently, in one newspaper report, the Chief Minister has said that he does not want production based industry in Goa. It appears that he has based his hopes on mining, electronics manufacturing and IT which are, at present, non-starters in Goa.
We, however, welcome the announcement in the budget of strengthening Public Grievances Cell for transparency and fast delivery of services. Implementation of Public Services Act and announcement of Voluntary Retirement Scheme for Government employees are also welcome initiatives.