Wednesday 16 October 2019

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Politics | Assembly '99

BJP vows to make Dubai of Goa

 

Banning conversion of agricultural land, developing Goa as an international shopping centre like Dubai, making it a plastic-free state, restricting its cabinet to only eight members and holding long-awaited Zilla Panchayat polls within six months are the major highlights of the election manifesto released by the Bharatiya Janata Party here.

Sushma Swaraj, former union minister, while releasing the manifesto for Goa elections here commented that the 45-page studied document presented by the BJP as an ‘agenda for the new millennium’ has proved that the party has concrete plans to develop Goa, unlike other parties.

Manohar Parrikar, architect of the manifesto, says his upcoming party in the tourist state would give major stress on the issues relating to employment, infrastructure, education, law and order and corruption, if brought to power. They made a debut with four legislators only in the last Assembly.

The five-page long proposals on finance for bringing Goa out from the debt trap suggests annual additional revenue generation to the tune of Rs 150 crore during the ninth five year plan as the state would require Rs 750 crore for infrastructural development alone.

In order to achieve the target, the BJP promises to generate Rs 120 crore by prudent financial planning and remaining Rs 30 crore by cutting down on wasteful expenditure. In the background of Goa having jumbo cabinets of 12 to 14 for the last nine years, the cabinet of eight is part of this plan.

The BJP’s endeavour to restructure the whole sales tax policy also includes their principled stand not to promote liquor industry by granting sales tax exemption while it would also generate revenue of Rs 10 crore annually. They also plan to prevent excise duty leakage to the tune of Rs 10 crore annually in the liquor industry.

While the state would lose around Rs 28 crore if the BJP implements its promise to scrap additional ST policy, the party has also proposed an alternate plan for generating additional revenue to the tune of Rs 324 crore by introducing entry tax, energy tax, toll tax, additional ST bonus and registration fees for dealers.

In order to tackle the increasing unemployment problem in the tourist state, the BJP also promises 6000 jobs as an annual feature while also providing 18,000 government jobs by 2006. However, the party also proposes to reduce the retirement age to 58 years and a golden handshake for those retiring at the age of 52 years.

Giving equal stress on infrastructural development worth over Rs 1000 crore, the saffron party plans to corporatise distribution network of power and roads and bridges as well as setting up the state water grid. They however intend stopping privatisation of power generation till detailed study is conducted once again.

While preparing negative list of industries Goa does not need, its main thrust appears to be on information technology, setting up international trade fair - cum - convention centre, promoting export-oriented agro industry and promoting tourism as the prime industry.

On the environmental front, besides assuring pollution-free industries and making the state plastic-free, several promises have also been made to overcome the mining pollution and its effects on the local populace in the hinterland, realising that it is a major pollution menace in the tourist state.






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Politics

 
 
 

Assembly '99

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