'49 per cent of Goa's budget is non-productive'

| 10 March 1997 12:15 IST

Goa appears to be one of the richest state, it being an international tourist destination attracting large amount of foreign exchange and having highest per capita income in the country. But the actual figures contradict the impression.

It is perhaps for the first time being pointed out, by simply going through Goa's budget documents, that 49 per cent of its expenditure is non-productive in nature. The largest chunk of the budget is being spent on the government servants.

Having a ratio of 1:29, the second largest literate state is having 42,000 government employees, which is quite a large number for a state having hardly 12 lakh population. Followed by this expenditure is the interest paid on public debts, which amounts to around 16 per cent.

Madhusudan Mistry, a noted budget analyst from Gujarat, has pointed out that no state in the country has such a large amount being spent for non-productive purpose.

He was surprised to know that the 40-member House is having 12 ministers, the expenditure on whom is being doubled every time before the next budget is presented. The amount of Rs 19 crore spent on the police force for a small state is also quite high, he adds.

Goa spends almost 12 per cent on general education, while the funds do not reach the grassroot level, points out Mistry. Going through the census figures and the budgetary allocation, he points out at 42 per cent drop out rate in the second highest literate state, while it is much higher among the scheduled caste population.

In terms of tourism development, Mistry points out how the state government is exploiting the Goan population to provide all facilities for around 12 lakh tourists comings to the state every year, but does not tax in no different way the five star hotel lobby.

The state authorities have commissioned special water pipelines and power lines for the five star hotels here besides hot mixing the roads along the coastline, not to serve the local population but the high class tourists. But this amount is paid from the Goan's pocket without touching the tourist or the hoteliers, he states.

It has to be seen now whether Chief Minister Pratapsing Rane, while presenting the budget this month, implements his preannounced decision to charge Rs 300 behind every charter tourist landing in Goa, as it may also have an adverse effect on the tourism scene which is on decline.

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