Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, February 1, presented the Union Budget for the financial year 2022-23 that largely elicited a positive response from the Goa private sector.
"We are quite happy with the budget in a sense that the foundation of the budget is really good. A lot of stress has been given to infrastructure, E-governance. E-energy and environmental issues take precedence over conventional ways. Considering five states are heading to poll, it was surprising to see no populists schemes were launched in this budget and emphasis was given to development," said Ralph De Souza, president of Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).
De Souza said with the Government putting a focus on the swifter movement of goods across the country, Goa can become the logistics hub of the country. "This budget can pave the way to have a logistics hub in Goa. State government should help in developing the local infrastructure and local utility with help from the central government," he said.
Atul Jadhav, Chairman, CII Goa State Council, said announcements like PM Gati Shakti Framework, the launch of Ease of Doing Business 2.0 and ‘One Nation, One Registration’ with the focus on promoting digital economy, tech-enabled development, energy transition, climate action, reorientation of skilling programs, battery swapping policy for improving the efficiency in the EV ecosystem are in the right direction towards ensuring domestic manufacturing and boosting job creation.
Nilesh Shah, president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), said there could have been more announcements to support the ailing tourism sector, which has been severely hit by the pandemic. However, a scheme like Parvat Mala that will help in connectivity with the hilly region will help the tourism sector overall. The greater focus on infrastructure development is another step in the right direction. "Although Interest-free loans could have helped in reviving the tourism industry," he said.
Former GCCI president, Manoj Caculo, said the government has clearly focused on growth. "We are quite happy with the budget. We welcome that government did not resort to giving out any sops with elections around, usually, these sops are at the cost of the industry. Digital currency announcement, e-passports, infrastructure expansion are some of the positives in the right direction. Additional top-up loans to cover up for the losses will help revive the tourism industry. Overall it is a very positive budget with an implication that the economy is only going to grow," he said.