Finance panel suggests boost for Goa’s slow service sector

Panaji: The 15th Finance Commission, headed by chairman N K Singh, Thursday met representatives of the trade and industry bodies, political parties and local self-governance bodies in Goa.

The Commission observed that the state government needs
to take steps to facilitate structural transformation of the economy by
increasing its activity in the service sector.

Representatives of political parties such as the
Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and Goa Forward Party sought financial package
for mining dependants and other infrastructural development.

Industrial body demanded Rs 2,500 crore for
infrastructural development of the industrial sector in the state.

The finance panel stated that Goa stands at
19th position in the country as far as ‘Ease of Doing Business’ is
concerned (2019).

The Commission informed that the growth rate of Gross
State Domestic Product (at current prices, 2011) fluctuated widely between
2012-13 and 2018-19 compared to GDP (at current prices, 2011) of the country.
It also said that the share of primary, secondary and tertiary sectors to Gross
State Value Added (current prices, 2011) was 9.6 per cent, 46.3 per cent and
34.3 per cent, respectively in 2018-19.

The Commission also noted that the share of tertiary
sector to GSVA (current prices, 2011) declined from 41 per cent in 2013-14 to
34 per cent in 2018-19. On the other hand, the share of primary sector remained
constant at around 9-10 per cent during the same period. As in 2018-19, the
secondary sector contributed 46 per cent to GSVA (current prices), making it
the largest among the three sectors of the economy.

During the last three years, the year-on-year tourist
arrivals have been growing at a pace of about 20 per cent. In 2017, Goa
witnessed 68,95,234 domestic tourists and 8,90,459 foreign tourists, numbers
together being more than four times the population of the state, the finance
panel stated.

The Commission sought information on the areas for
private sector participation for further encouraging the tourism sector in
specific areas such as infrastructure development, tourist safety, beach safety
and surveillance system, hospitality management etc.

Representatives of various organisations such as
CREDAI-Goa, Economic Development Corporation, Goa Industrial Development
Corporation, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chartered Accountants
Association of Goa, Confederation of India Industry (CII), Casino-Hotel Neo
Majestic, Goa Barge Owners Association and Goa Mineral Ore Exporters
Association met the Finance Commission.

The representatives of rural local bodies and urban civic
bodies including the Corporation of City of Panaji also met the panel and put
forward their demands and also sought devolution of powers for the local
self-governance bodies.

The Commission has noted all the issues raised by the
representatives and assured to address them in its recommendations to the Union
government.

Singh told the representatives of political parties that
Goa was the last state that the Finance Commission was meeting and added that
it would submit its recommendations to the central government by the end of
this fiscal year. He also said that these recommendations by the Commission
will be for a period of six years.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and his cabinet
ministers, along with senior officials will meet the Finance Commission on
Friday.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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