GCCI seeks Rs. 2,500 cr for industrial infrastructure

Panaji: The Goan industry on Thursday requested the 15th Finance Commission to provide it special grants to build infrastructure primarily for rejuvenation of the local trade and business.

In its memorandum to the Commission, the industry sought a larger share of the central funds. The special grant requirement of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), which submitted a representation to members of the Finance Commission, is estimated at Rs 2,500 crore.

The trade representative body requested the Finance
Commission to recommend the special grants to offset the degradation in
infrastructure, caused by migrant population from other states. To strengthen
its case, the GCCI pointed out that the state needs to be rewarded with
suitable grants to meet its developmental needs, as it adopted a prudent fiscal
policy and kept the deficit and debt vis-à-vis the GSDP at sustainable level in
the face of mining industry closure.

Further, the memorandum said that the state’s high per
capita income is not reflected at the ground level, as the income level of an
average Goan is quite low and large sections are poor due to the high cost of
living.

The memorandum said that the manufacturing sector has
been stagnant for the last few years and no fresh investment has been coming
into the state despite the setting up of Investment Promotion Board. “Although
the state has been presenting surplus budgets, its market borrowings are on the
rise. In the last nine months of the current financial year, the state borrowed
Rs 2,081 crore at the rate of Rs 231 crore a month,” it said.

Of the Rs 2,500 crore special grant for industrial
infrastructure, the GCCI has sought Rs 1,000 crore for the Goa electricity
department, to construct new substations and transmission towers for stability
of the power system. The GCCI has sought Rs 300 crore for constructing fire
hydrant network in industrial estates and Rs 200 crore for the PWD for laying a
raw water pipeline and related infrastructure like storage tanks and pumping
stations to meet the water needs of the industry. A Rs 1,000-crore special
grant has been sought for the tourism sector for the specific purpose of
setting up a convention centre.

President of GCCI Manoj Caculo and former president
Sandip Bhandare met the members of the Finance Commission in the afternoon to
submit the memorandum.

Members of the Commission are meeting all stakeholders
before arriving at a decision on the state’s fund requirement from the Centre.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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