Goa demands Special Category Status for mining, tourism

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) Chief Minister of Congress-ruled Goa, Digambar V Kamat, today lamented the ''minimal'' central assistance to the state and said people of the state were being ''penalised'' by the centre for its development.

He also demanded Special Category Status for mining and tourism infrastructure to enable the state to get higher level of central assistance.

In his address at the 54th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC), the Chief Minister said people of Goa felt that they were being ''penalised'' by the government of India for its development.

''On the whole, the encouragement the state is getting today from government of India, is minimal and there is a need to increase the same if the state has to progress,'' he said.

He said the present mechanism of central devolution governed by the Gadgil-Mukherjee formula for share in central taxes, are not favourable to performing states like Goa.

Performance and states' contribution to the nation had to get due consideration to encourage the states to perform better and progress further, the Chief Minister said.

Pointing out mining and tourism activities had brought tremendous pressure on the state's infrastructure, he said Goa needed to be considered for 'Special Category State' status to sustain the contrubution being made by these two sectors.

Mr Kamat said Goa needed ''massive investment'' for infrastrure development inthe Eleventh Five-Year Plan, and claimed that the ''face of governance'' in the state was expected to witness ''sea change'' in the near future.

UNI

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