CM urges FC for criteria on devolution of funds

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Panaji, Jun 27 (UNI) Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat today made a fervent plea with the 13th Finance Commission for devolution of more funds, keeping in mind the state's financial performance and all round development.

''Goa is a well performing state and should be incentivised by the Finance Commission to perform better. The Finance Commission should give due weight to efficiency consideration while framing its devolution criteria. Incentives should be provided for better fiscal management and fiscal prudence,'' Mr Kamat told the FC members.

The members of the Finance Commission, headed by Dr Vijay L Kelkar, who are on a two day visit to Goa, held a meeting with the Chief Minister besides his cabinet colleagues and senior officials. Dr Kelkar chaired the meeting.

Mr Kamat, pointing out Goa's excellent fiscal performance as well as its high human development indicators, noted the power sector was running efficiently and at a profit with line losses lesser than 20 percent, making it a national leader.

He outlined future plans to develop Goa as an educational hub as well as setting up of integrated school complexes. He, however, pointed out that as a small state Goa faced a number of disadvantages which needed to be taken into account by the Finance Commission.

The Chief Minister referred to Goa's terrorist and violence free environment and requested support in continuing with the state government's preventive initiatives by providing it adequate and timely support.

Dr. Kelkar later congratulated Goa for improvements in revenue performance. He noted that the trend growth rate of Goa's own revenue receipts was well above the national average for all states of 11.5 per cent for 1999-06, which indicates good revenue efforts by the state. He also hailed the successful introduction and implementation of VAT, besides exemplary implementation of state FRBM Act, with gratifying fiscal results in terms of the emergence of revenue surplus and a near zero primary deficit.

He highlighted issues emerging from the memorandum presented to the commission by the state commission including growth of revenue expenditure, management of the state debt liabilities and possibilities for improving the equity and efficiency of public expenditure.

The commission will finalise its recommendations by October, 2009.

UNI BM OBB AM UCS2210

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