Goa pleads for more devolution of funds from Central kitty

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Panaji, Mar 19 (UNI) Pleading for adequate devolution of funds to the ''performing states'' from the Central kitty, the Goa Government said its contribution to the Central pool is ''very rich'' as against its ''very poor returns''.

However, the Centre has earmarked more funds for 2008-09 with the state presenting a strong case before the Planning Commission of India and the Prime Minister's Office yesterday, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat told mediapersons on his return from New Delhi today.

As against Rs 1,564 crore resources available for Goa for the new fiscal, the Planning Commission has fixed the plan size at Rs 1,737.65 crore against Rs 1,430 crore for the current fiscal. This amounts an increase of about 20 per cent over the last fiscal plan, he said.

Besides, the Government had pleaded for allocation of Rs 600 crore for development of road infrastructure to boost tourism and Rs 570 crore for conduct of National Games 2011 spread over five years.

The Planning Commission assured the government for release of Rs 100 crore in the first tranche in the new fiscal, as demanded, after constituting a group of experts headed by Mr Chopra to work modalities for disbursal of the funds, Mr Kamat said.

Giving details in presence of Finance Minister Dayanand Narvekar and PWD Minister Churchill Alemao at the Porvorim state secretariat complex, Mr Kamat said Goa contributed as much as Rs 9,487.40 crore to the Central pool last fiscal.

This included Rs 522.37 crore by way of Customs Duty, Rs 725.22 crore by way of Central Excise, Rs 1,478 crore through Income Tax, Rs 4,591.81 crore through iron ore exports and Rs 2,170 crore through foreign exchange earnings from tourism industry.

As against this, Goa got Rs 400.60 crore, comprising a mere 4.22 per cent return from the Central pool, even as it was not getting tax holiday/exemption benefits for industrial development.

''Central assistance under the Planning Commission was formula based and not favourable to performing states like Goa. It got Rs 88.49 crore under plan grant and Rs 312.11 crore as share in central taxes for the last fiscal,'' Mr Narvekar added.

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