Porvorim: Pointing out the difference between revenue and expenditure, Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte told the House that there is a gap of Rs 13,000 crore in the Budget presented on the floor of the House by CM Pramod Sawant.
Khaunte termed the Budget as “Stalin’s Budget” and also said that the autocratic working style of the CM also mirrors Stalin.
The MLA said that the Budget has been presented to please the voters but the government should also ensure that it is implemented. He pointed out that the Budget presented last year and a year before that was never accomplished.
“Pramod Sawant had assured that he would place an Action Taken Report, but that has not come. Corona pandemic has been an excuse to avoid performance of the state,” he said.
Khaunte pointed out that the Budget shows Rs 21,000 crore as expenditure while merely Rs 8,300 crore as an income to the state. The gap is of Rs 13,000 crore and the State government has not mentioned from where this money would come in its Budget.
Commenting on the political situation, Khaunte said that the party in power is happy because they are getting the mandate. “The division in the opposition is helping them to get their things right.”
“When see the vision document, I am trying to understand what they are looking for. The vision document should state what state has been going in the 60th year of Liberation,” he added.
Khaunte pointed out that the Budget does not recognise or reward with incentives, the covid warriors who gave back to the society during pandemic times.
The MLA said that while CM has taken a good step of increasing remuneration for widows, it has miserably failed to provide solace to the general public who are reeling under the financial impact of inflation in the essentials and commodities.
“When we talk of economics, the youths are an important segment. Budget talks about 11,000 jobs, but does the government portray itself to handle unemployment with the government jobs alone. We have seen announcements about IPB in every Budget that never materialises,” he added.
The Budget should have made provision for skill development.
“We had started skilling academies. Today that is not there. How would you handle the employment requirement? What will happen to those who are already in the government sector in contractual jobs?,” he questioned.
Taking a dig at the announcement of Rs 2500 crore worth Administrative Building at Patto, Khaunte said that it is a contradiction that while on one side we talk about e-District, decentralising the governance, on the other hand, the government wants to build such huge buildings.
Khaunte said that Government’s focus should have been on the farming and agriculture, when it is launching the mission of ‘Atmanirbhar.” “What is the vision for Agriculture? Farmers are struggling. The issues like purposeful breach of bandhs inundating the fields are making their lives miserable. These issues should be addressed first,” he said.
Khaunte said that the people are worried about their identity, culture, tradition and environment, due to which they are hitting the roads with protest every day.
“The identity of the state is at stake due to projects like Mollem. Police are committing atrocities on the protestors. Cm should have had projections about the environment too in the Budget,” he said.
“We are surviving on tourism, mining and manufacturing. For manufacturing ease of doing business is the only mantra. You have spent Rs 200 crore to get SEZ land. Why is SEZ money not mentioned in the Budget. GIDC is given 650 crore, of which 300 crore will only be paid to pay the money back to SEZ,” he said.
On the mining front, he said “government has announced that it wants to have a State Mining Corporation. When you are using GIDC for coal block auctioning, why can’t you handle the work of a mining corporation. Where is the budget allocation for the corporation?”
“Mining GDP has gone down but CM is only talking about packages to the sector. I am not against package mining but at the same time we should concentrate on corona affected taxi owners and others.”
Talking about infrastructure tax, Khaunte said “ when you pay infrastructure tax, citizens should not be asked to pay tax again for infrastructure. The facilities like electricity, sewerage, garbage etc are in doldrums. Government should have a policy, which should have come out in the document.”
“Government speaks about revenue leakage but there is a glaring example of Mopa Airport construction was given licence without paying the tax. Now there are moves to reduce the tax.”
“NCB is more prominent in Goa than the Goa ANC. What is Goa ANC doing? Today we are making Goa, a police state. There is drugs, prostitution which is going on unabated.”
On the Law and Order front, Khaunte said “Porvorim has seen a land scam, but police are not registering the case. The case was filed only when the media highlighted the issue. PI is claiming that he has direct connection with the CM. Police are more busy in setting. Law and Order should have found proper mention in the Budget.”