Goa growth potential needs to be exploited fully says N K Singh
"I subscribe to what is commonly believed as Goa being the jewel in India's crown. We as the Finance Commission would like this jewel to remain unblemished and to be further embellished”, said N K Singh 15th Finance Commission Chairman.
PANAJI: The 15th Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh on Friday said that Goa’s growth potential needs to be exploited fully. He said Goa needs to focus on improvement in overall agricultural productivity and improving the State’s tax revenue. Singh also stressed the need to constitute the State Finance Commission.
During its two-day visit to the State, the Commission held interactions with various stakeholders including the urban local bodies (ULBs), panchayats, political parties, representatives of trade and industry and the State government, among others.
Speaking to media persons, Singh said, “Goa is the last State which the Commission is visiting. I subscribe to what is commonly believed as Goa being the jewel in India's crown. We as the Finance Commission would like this jewel to remain unblemished and to be further embellished.”
Stating that Goa has huge potential given its natural beauty, its coastline and given its rich hinterland, he said, “We have also visited States which have smaller population than in Goa, but the growth potential of Goa has yet to be full exploited. On asked whether Goa is close to reach its growth potential, my reply would be no because I think that Goa has huge opportunities. And we need to have combination of measures which would enable it to improve its growth potential.
Listing issues that deserve to be considered by the State, he said, “The agricultural productivity and the emphasis on agriculture notwithstanding the fact that the large part of it requires huge improvement in diversification of agricultural patterns and improvement in overall agricultural productivity which I think deserves priority. The completion of ongoing strengthening of infrastructure is also an area which deserves closer attention as you go forward.”
Stating that the Commission has been provided data that this tourism potential in the last two years has gone down, he said, “I think partly it is on account of global factors which is due to slowdown of global economy. But also because other competing destinations have also come up and I think it is natural that the market forces would take people to the comparative destinations. Therefore the parameters that go towards attracting tourism deserves closer priority and consideration.”
He also said that considering Goa’s coastline, it has developed alternate sources of energy, not only solar but wind and tidal energy.
“Given the fact that Goa's geographical area is small and looking at the high density of migrant population, I hope this migrant population that settle down are reckoned in the next round of census which would be done as residents of Goa because there is a huge floating population as well. This puts a strain naturally on the infrastructure of the State in terms of what is needed by way of providing health facilities, urban facilities, etc. So I think what is to be done to deal with this floating population in my view deserves attention,” he stressed.