On Thursday, February 8, Goa Chief Minister, Dr Pramod Sawant, announced the budget for the state of Goa, for the year 2024-25. The budget was announced with the aim of turning the state into a ‘Viksit’ or developed Goa.
As far as the fiscal profile of the state is concerned, it has been projected that the growth rate will be at 13.87 percent; the per capita income will augment to 7.64 lakh rupees; the expected GSDP growth will be at 13.73 percent; and the projected revenue surplus is at 1704.19 crore rupees. As far as administration is concerned, 166.60 crore rupees have been provisioned to the general administration department; 2.50 crores have been allocated under ‘Mission Karmayogi’; 30 crores have been provisioned for the state-of-the-art ‘Prashansan Stambh’; and 10 crore rupees have been allocated to the GSIDC for the renovation of the Late Shri Bhausaheb Bandodkar Memorial.
Aiming for a ‘Viksit Goa’, an allocation of 2,121. 86 crores has been made for the health sector of the state, with 1,071.2 5 crores rupees assigned to the Goa Medical College; for the training of medical staff, 3.10 crore rupees have been allocated to the National Emergency Life Support Skill Centres; 155.50 crores have been assigned for the construction of a new medical dispensary and the upgradation of 5 health centres. Apart from this, a 50-bedded integrated AYUSH hospital is to be set up at the TB Hospital premises, Margao, South Goa, with a provision of 11.87 crore rupees.
A primary health centre at Candolim will be set up at a cost of 21.49 crores, and the construction of a day care centre at the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour Complex, Bambolim, has been proposed at the cost of rupees 12 crores.
Next, the budget allocation to the Public Works Department has been increased by 10.75 percent to 2,976.55 crores, with 270 crores for the Zuari Bridge Observatory Tower; 641.46 crores for the Porvorim elevated corridor on NH-66; 350.54 crore rupees have been allocated for 10 proposed projects on 100 percent reimbursement basis. In order to improve road safety, 840 crore rupees have been assigned for 1000 KMs under the planned improvement of riding quality surface; and 250 crores have been allocated for sewage connectivity to the sewage treatment plant.
Rupees 100 crore have been given to improve water connectivity and to the water treatment plant; and while 1600 crores have been sanctioned for all MLAs’ small projects in their respective constituencies, 677 new projects worth 1600 crores will also be functional this year.
For further welfare of the state, the power department has been allocated with 3,999.10 crore rupees, and with connections starting in 2024-25 itself, 7.5 lakh pre-paid smart metres, sanctioned under RDSS are to be tendered. For infrastructure development, projects worth 440.95 crores under GSIDC will be completed this year. The Department of Water Resources has been allocated with 670 crores; while the Department of New and Renewable Energy has been sanctioned with 62.94 crores, 306.09 crores have been allocated to the Department of Transport.
700 crores have been proposed for a transportation hub in Goa, and an addition of 50 buses for inter-state routes has been made along with an additional 50 buses to the fleet. The Department of Captain of Ports and River Navigation has been allocated with rupees 156.99 crores.
For all round development, the field of sports and youth affairs have also been sufficiently focused upon, and hence, 240.70 crores have been allocated to the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs. It has been proposed to establish ‘Khelo Goa’ centres in each taluka, with an allocated budget of 30 lakhs.
Not only the urban regions, but rural areas have also been taken care of, with 313.32 crores have been allocated to the Department of Panchayats. 69.97 crore rupees have been sanctioned for the Department of Rural Development. For urban development, 404.09 crore rupees have been proposed, and various projects worth 218.82 crores will be completed this year itself.
For economic and manufacturing growth, 74.12 crores have been earmarked for the Industries Department; and 80 crores have been sanctioned for industrial estate infrastructure upgradation projects. 27 crores have also been approved for handicrafts, textile, and coir.
With an aim to make Goa the ‘creative capital’ of the country, various schemes are to be implemented under Goa Startup Policy. Other than this, 154.95 crores have been allocated for Information Technology. 100+ free Wi-Fi hotspots are to be set up to provide free internet services to the masses of Goa.
To ensure that sustainable development takes place in the state, the environment department has been assigned 20 crore rupees, and 60 lakh rupees have been granted for environmental conservation for educational and research institutes. Another 149.92 crores have been allocated to the forest department.
While the Education and Skill Development Departments have received an allocation of 3,243 crore rupees, 259.30 crores have been granted to the Agriculture Department. For animal husbandry and veterinary services, 180 crores have been sanctioned, and the Fisheries Department has received 84.03 crores.
For overall social welfare, the namesake department has been assigned 553.72 crore rupees, and 406.70 crores have been allotted for women and child development.
For strengthening tourism in the state further, 255.20 crores have been allocated to the tourism department, and focus will be put on the introduction of digital advertising screens to display social messages, promotion of unexplored locations, Goan culture, heritage, commercial advertisements, and tourist statistics, under the ‘Master Services Agreement’.