Kamat seeks Central grants to solve Goa's financial problems

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New Delhi, Oct 13 (UNI) Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat today said the people of the state feel that it is being penalised by the Centre for its development.

Addressing the 14th National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here, Mr Kamat said it cannot be denied that the less developed states need more assistance from Central Government and progressive states like Goa support to develop further and emerge as a model developed state.

He said the performance and states' contribution to the nation have to get due consideration to encourage the states to perform better and progress further. Perhaps, Goa is the only state in the country which receives tourists twice its resident population.

Similarly, mining had created major environmental degradation in terms of air and water pollution, degradation of agriculture fields, high incidence of morbidity in the mining belt and damage to roads and other infrastructure. Thus, both the mining and tourism sector have brought tremendous pressure on the infrastructure of the state.

These two sectors were mainly responsible for significant contribution to the nation both in terms of central taxes and foreign exchange earnings, he added.

He said Goa is the only state in the country to have an uniform civil code. It ensures equal Right to Inheritance of Property.

Besides, the state have 100 per cent registration of births and deaths and the registration of marriages is compulsory.

The Government of Goa had enacted the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act in 2006 which sets the target to reduce revenue deficit to nil and to bring down the ratio of fiscal deficit to Gross State Domestic Products (GSDP) to three per cent by March 31, 2009. The state has already achieved the targets of " Zero" revenue deficit and the fiscal deficit is reduced to three per cent of GSDP during 2007-08. However, the Sixth Pay Commission liability of about Rs 800 crores including arrears from January 1, 2006 and annual liability of Rs 350 crores on account of increase in salaries and pension would have a severe impact on the finances of the state.

It would push the state back to a revenue deficit and higher fiscal deficit and severely affect the socio-economic development projects, necessitating the higher allocation in Central Grants, Mr Kamat added.

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