Panaji: A team of the 15th Finance Commission, led by its chairman N K Singh, arrived in Goa on Wednesday evening for a two-day visit as a part of its consultative process. The panel will be in Goa on January 23 and January 24.
During its visit, the Commission will meet various stakeholders including the state government over allocation of central share.
The chairman and members of the Finance Commission will meet opposition parties as well as industrial bodies, representatives of local self-governance bodies and other stakeholders on January 23. The panel will have a consultative session with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and senior government officials on January 24.
Sawant told reporters that he, along with his cabinet colleagues and senior officials, will meet the finance panel on January 24.
It may be noted that the Goa government has put forward a demand before the 15th Finance Commission seeking a fund requirement of Rs 5,589.82 crore for infrastructure and public utilities, tourism infrastructure, Panchayat Bhavan, strengthening of the statistical system at grassroots level, underground electrical network cabling in coastal areas, disaster management, alternative modes of power generation and solid waste management.
Meanwhile, the industry, in its submission before the finance panel,
is likely to seek a special grant solely for industrial development.
“The state does not have enough funds to spend on development. Due to limited resources, it has very little fund for the industry. We feel the local industry needs help from the Centre and want the Finance Commission to consider a special grant, which will be only for the industry,” said president of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Manoj Caculo.
He said that funds from the special grant should be primarily used for building industrial infrastructure and should not be clubbed with the state’s official demand from the Centre. “The special grant for industry must be separate and it needs to be deployed in the manufacturing sector, services, tourism, across the spectrum,” said Caculo.
The GCCI will ask for the grant to be used for creating infrastructure in industrial estates, upgrading facilities and other areas, said the president, while declining to mention the quantum of the grant.
According to GCCI, industrial growth slowed down in the state over the last two years but the state could not initiate measures for revival due to lack of funds.
Officials of the Finance Commission will also meet Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Goa.
Chairman of CII-Goa Lalit Saraswat said that the state needs sustainable growth. “In our representation to the Commission, we would be seeking sustainable growth in green industries,” said Saraswat. He said that the trade body would also ask for fund for ‘enablers’ such as broadband, telecom etc.