The 15th Finance Commission headed by Chairman, Shri N.K. Singh alongwith its Members and senior officials met today with Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Pramod Sawant alongwith his Cabinet colleagues and senior State Government officials.
The Commission observed that:
- Goa has a population of 1.459 million, making it India’s fourth smallest State in terms of Population (after Sikkim, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh). The population has a growth rate of 8.23% per decade.
- There are 394 people for each square kilometer of land which is higher than national average 382 per km2. Goa is the state with highest proportion of urban population with 62.17% of the population living in urban areas.
- Estimates put the migrant, or non-Goan, population at 20% of the population, with a State Government study projecting that by 2021 the migrant community will outnumber the native population.
- Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, two and a half times that of the country. In 2018-19, per capita NSDP of the State was Rs. 4,67,998 against per capita income of Rs. 1,26,406 for India.
- It was ranked the best-placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.
- Goa is also one of the few states in India to achieve 100 percent rural electrification.
- In 2018-19, the share of primary, secondary and tertiary sector in GSVA (current prices 2011) of the State was 9.6, 46.3 and 34.3%, respectively.
- The State’s share in inter-se devolution had risen from 0.26 during 2010-15 (as recommended by FC-XIII) to 0.37 during 2015-20 (as recommended by FC-XIV).
The Commission was appreciative of the fact that:
- In 2017-18, the Own Tax Revenue to GSDP of the State was 6.7%, which is sixth highest among all States. Also, the NTR as the percent to GSDP is 4.3 and ORR as a percent to GSDP is 11 which is highest among all the States.
- The annual growth rate as a percent to GSDP has been on the higher side when compared to GDP growth rate from 2014-15 onwards.
- State Government has witnessed revenue surplus to GSDP in all the years since 2011-12 till 2018-19 except for the years 2012-13 and 2013 -14.
- The Per Capita Tax Revenue is 7.34 as a % to the PCI for 2017-18.
- The social indicators including literacy rate, decennial growth rate, Total Fertility Rate (TFR), IMR, Birth Rate, Death Rate are well above the national average.
- The debt-GSDP ratio of the State was 26.32% in 2017-18, which is well above the average of the all States i.e 25.51 %. The State is ranked at 12th among all the States for the year 2017-18.
- Solid waste management and sewage treatment related issues.
- Tourism development.
The Finance Commission was concerned about:
- In the recent past, Goa has been facing the problem of slower own tax revenue growth. The slowdown in the economy is affecting the revenue potential of the State. The nominal GSDP growth in Goa has fallen to 8.5 percent in 2015-16 from an average of 12 percent in the last decade.
- The State Government may need to make progress towards increasing capital expenditure, eliminating AT&D losses in the power sector, and improving the quality of such expenditure in generating future income streams.
- The State Government has been irregular in constitution of State Finance Commission and not implemented recommendations of any two SFCs so far constituted in spite of having 190 Village Panchayats and 14 ULBs.
- All the functions mentioned under Eleventh and Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution have not yet been fully devolved to the local bodies.
The Commission desired to know about the natural disaster preparedness of the State. The Commission also sought information on how the State dealt with the huge tourist arrival (both domestic & international) in Goa each year.
Earlier the Commission had held a meeting with the representatives of the Political Parties of the State of Goa including BJP, INC, AAP, MGP, GFP and CPI. Cutting across party lines, all parties had put forth issues and problems facing Goa currently.
The State Government gave a detailed presentation of the current fiscal situation of Goa and its requirements for funds. The State has submitted a demand for grant of Rs.6333.32 crores in addition to the overall tax devolution.
The Commission has assured to look into all matters and issues, specifically solid waste management, tourism development, etc. before making its recommendations to the Union Government.