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Politics
25 Mar 2017

Goa Budget 2017: New CM Parrikar announces costlier petrol, beer

Goa Budget 2017: BJP attempts to stabilize state

After a rocky government formation process, new Goa CM Manohar Parrikar doubled VAT on motor spirit from 7% to 15%, and hiked beer prices by Rs. 2-5 in the 2017-18 Goa budget.

It is seen as an attempt to pacify allies Goa Forward and MGP.

However, with petrol prices rising to Rs. 65/L, Parrikar breached his 2012 promise to keep them under Rs. 60.

In context

Goa Budget 2017: BJP attempts to stabilize state
Now shelve out more for beer and petrol

Beer/petrol

Now shelve out more for beer and petrol

A litre of beer, with below 5% and above 5% alcohol-content, now costs Rs. 20 and Rs. 24 respectively.

Marginal enhancement was announced on excise duty for locally-manufactured and imported beer, and an additional annual fee of Rs. 1L for manufacturers of high-end liquor who import concentrated alcoholic beverages.

VAT, which had been abolished in Goa in 2012 by Parrikar, has now been hiked.

Digitalisation/Aadhaar

Goa push to Centre's digitalization, Aadhaar registration

In line with the Centre's digitalization initiative, Parrikar announced formulation of a policy to "discourage cash-spending". He said the government would incentivize digital transactions and make them "financially rewarding".

Considering almost 100% of Goa's population was covered under Aadhaar, Parrikar also announced all social welfare schemes would be linked to the identity card.

He also announced the creation of 4,000 jobs annually in IT.

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Goa plans to go garbage-free by 2020

"The aim of my government is to make Goa garbage-free by 2020, and the first step would be to ban plastic below 40 microns from the state. Heavy penalty will be levied on sellers as well as users of these plastic bags," Parrikar said.

Golden Jubilee of Goa's historic Opinion Poll

Budget 2017

Golden Jubilee of Goa's historic Opinion Poll

In his first budget after taking over as CM in March, Parrikar laid emphasis on celebration of the golden jubilee of Opinion Poll, independent India's only referendum in which citizens in 1967 voted against a merger with Maharashtra.

He also announced the appointment of a consultant for the development of Porvorim and a 40% jump in allocation to PWD, held by MGP's Sudin Dhavalikar.

Priorities

Thrust on 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'

In an attempt to cut through red-tape delays, Parrikar announced a voluntary retirement scheme for "lethargic government servants", and proposed implementation of the Goa Act 2013 for time-bound services to the public.

A mobility plan was announced to tackle the state's dismal public transport.

Prioritizing education, infrastructure, health; Parrikar projected a 9% increase in budget outlay at Rs. 16,027.01cr against last year's Rs. 14,694.17cr.

BJP attempts to keep allies happy

Allies

BJP attempts to keep allies happy

BJP has only 13 MLAs in the 40-member house, while Goa Forward and MGP have three members in the government each.

The hike in PWD allocation came after Dhavalikar repeatedly criticized the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation for allegedly taking over most projects that should have gone to PWD.

Meanwhile, BJP MLAs Michael Lobo and Nilesh Cabral's demands for ministerial berths have remained unheeded.

Criticism

Opposition slams "anit-poor", "unimaginative" budget

The opposition claimed the "anti-poor" budget had no vision and was partial.

Former Congress CM Luizinho Faleiro said, "They have raised the price of petrol, going against their own promise made earlier."

Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, meanwhile, accused Parrikar of trying to win over MLAs who couldn't be given ministerial berths by giving them special grants.

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