Though no major announcements were made in the union budget for poll-bound Goa, perhaps in view of the Election Commission guidelines, industrialists and locals were happy with some of the measures outlined by the finance minister.
While chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, who also holds the finance portfolio, was busy in election campaigning, finance secretary Daular Hawaldar refused to comment on the budget.
“The reforms introduced by the finance minister for small-and medium-sized industries will help a small state like Goa immensely. Also, the incentives for affordable housing will be of great help to the middle-class and the lower middle-class,” said Datta Naik, executive member of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
But the fact that no specific announcements were made for the tourism sector disappointed many in the business as Goa happens to be a major tourism destination and the industry is a key contributor to the state’s revenue.
“Businessmen and even locales are not happy with the way demonetisation affected their business. It was for this reason that we had our hopes high around the budget. We expected some reforms. But noting of that sort happened,’ said Naik.
Ashwini Kaskar Achutan, a school teacher, said the lowering of tax rate for the Rs 2.5-5 lakh income slab was a good step for the middle class. “Considering the massive inflation we have these days I am happy that this reform came.”
Amit Bhupali, 28, a students counsellor, said the most significant part of the budget was the further crackdown on black money. “The fact that political parties can now receive maximum Rs 2,000 in cash donations and the rest through digital transaction is a great move.”