Thu, 19 Sep, 2019

Govt struggles for funds, but GSIDC plans beautification

despite tight fiscal situation, floats ` 23.1 cr tender to beautify Usgao town, Govt has borrowed ` 200 cr to pay employees before Chaturthi

21st August 2019, 02:52 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI 

At a time when the State government struggles to raise funds for essential requirements like paying government employees and flood-affected farmers, beautification projects should ideally have taken a back seat.  

However, the State’s precarious financial position has not stopped the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) from going ahead in floating a Rs 23.1 crore tender for the “beautification” of Usgao town.  

The State government’s financial position has been considered grim and one of the main factors has been the insufficient inflow from the share of GST. 

Such has been the financial crunch that the State government has just borrowed Rs 200 crore to pay to its employees before Ganesh Chaturthi, while it now has the uphill task of providing compensation to flood-affected farmers.  

Despite these financial challenges, the GSIDC has gone ahead to float a Rs 23.1 crore tender for the beautification of Usgao town.  

That’s not all. The GSIDC has also floated a Rs 23.4 crore tender to construct an administrative project at Morod-Mapusa.  

According to sources, the government’s financial position is such that it has insufficient money to pay its employees and beneficiaries of various government schemes.   

“Development projects which are not essential should have been kept in abeyance, given that the government’s coffers are low. However, the government seems to be under pressure from some minister and MLAs, to spend on works which are unimportant at this point in time,” said a source.  

“The GSIDC is spending crores of rupees on non-planned projects. The government provided the GSIDC with Rs 280 crore (2017-18), Rs 250 crore (2018-19) and this financial year, they are set to get to Rs 350 crore.”  

According to information by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in the recent Assembly session, there has been an increase of only Rs 150-250 crore in revenue and commercial tax.   

The government has not received its proper share of GST from the central government and received a mere Rs 281 crore in 2017 and Rs 502 crore in 2018.   

Given the insufficient money in the government’s coffers, many have begun to wonder if it makes sense to spend on beautification projects, instead of utilising the scarce funds on vital and essential projects in the State.