Five-month vote-on-account approved

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Panaji, Mar 27 (UNI) Goa Legislative Assembly today approved a five-month vote-on-account for 2008-09 after a marathon debate.

Replying to the debate, Finance Minister Dayanand Narvekar said Goa was adjudged the best financially managed state despite rising fiscal deficit in tune with the expenditure and receipts.

He said he would expect at least Rs 300 crore by way of additional resource mobilisation through levies and duties that he had announced in the budget yesterday. He claimed his was a performance budget.

He said all the schemes including tbat of the Centre would be under scanner by the government machinery so that the set targets were achieved and objectives fulfilled.

''Whenever money we take from the Centre, our duty was to ensure that it was properly utilised. It was our responsibility,'' he said.

He justified taking loans saying every government that wants to perform should take loans and at the sametime it had the duty to repay. We repaid loans in advance taken on higher interest earlier and started taking fresh loans at lower interest, thus reducing debt servicing as part of its judicious fiscal management, he said.

Mr Narvekar said the government was not short of funds for development of tourism, particularly in costal areas like Candolim.

For the first time since Goa's liberation in 1961, the state got a whopping Rs 2200 crore fund for the new fiscal, he said, adding he would continue to plead with the Centre for more funds for development.

Admitting that unemployment was mounting, he said there was need for coming out with new schemes, particularly for the white collar youth.

He sought cooperation of the opposition for continuing collective government responsibility for successful performance and governance.

UNI BM MAZ AG2120

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