PANAJI: Stating that the allocations made for various populist schemes and projects are "fictitious", the opposition Congress party has also described the projected figures in the state budget as reckless, unreasonable and unrealistic, which would put further burden the already wilting financial conditions of the state.
Opening the general discussions on the state budget, the Leader of Opposition, Mr Pratapsing Rane, told the state assembly that the allocations are fictitious as there is no money and either the government would not be able to implement its programmes or there would be financial crises.
Saying that Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, has done the act of window dressing in his budget, Mr Rane said that as per the government’s projections there would be total budgetary deficit of ` 1,263.53 crore and that budget allocation to that amount is imaginary and it has not been indicated in the budget how the deficit would be met.
Mr Rane also said that the projections of 35 per cent in value added tax collection for the year 2012-13 which has been pegged at ` 1,967 by the Chief Minister, who is also the state Finance Minister, are unreasonable, particularly, in view of the reduction of VAT on petrol.
He said that in VAT collection for the year 2011-12 was ` 1,600 crore including VAT on petrol, which was ` 150 crore. The government has over projected the mining royalty, which is unlikely to touch the projected figures of ` 900 crore, in the current budget, in view of the regulations imposed on mining.
He said that the mining royalty collection was ` 885 crore in the last financial year (2011-12), when there were no regulations.
He also said that industrial sector was collapsing as only 659 factories operated in 2011-12 in the state as against 743 in 2005-06. He also pointed out to the hurry in clearing the dues of private power producers by the government and said that the payment could have been staggered, as has been done by the other governments.
The Opposition Leader also said there are lots of giveaways assured by the government based on the optimistic projections which cannot be realistic, considering the global economic slowdown.
Mr Rane also said that this would also result in revenue deficit. He said: "I am not painting a dismal picture but the overall slow down in the economy is going to affect Goa too." He called upon government to cut down unnecessary expenditure.
Referring to the recent advisory by British government to its citizens intending to visit Goa, he said that this (advisory) could bring down tourist inflow and that government should not bank much on its projections in tourism sector.
He also said that slump in the prices of commodity prices world wide would also affect the state’s economy.
He also referred to cuts in the allocation to the technical sector and said that while the government has announced doles to the unemployed youth on one hand it has also slashed budgetary allocations to technical institutes in the state, which would lead to fall in trained technical manpower in the state.
"Let us encourage "fishing" rather than give free fish," he said referring to the government scheme to give doles to the youth.
Cautioning the government about increase in internal borrowings, he said that even the Reserve Bank of India has warned that the interest payment could be higher. He also said that the state has failed to adhere to fiscal responsibility and budget management for achieving revenue surplus.
The Goa Vikas Party leader, Mr Francisco Xavier Pacheco, sought to blame the previous Congress led government for the rise in deficit, saying that the increase in the revenue deficit was due to previous government’s mismanagement.
He said that the revenue deficit did not happen during the present government’s tenure.
Stating that no industry came to the state during the last five years, he went on to add that the government departments need to be run professionally.
He also expressed hopes that the schemes would reach needy Goans.