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State to set up NITI Aayog-like institution



Reading out the financial statement for the year 2019-20, which had been laid on the table of the House by former chief minister the late Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday announced that the government will establish a state institution for transforming Goa on the lines of NITI Aayog.

The proposed institution will function as an autonomous body to assist, advise and guide the state government in policy-making, and in the formulation, implementation, monitoring of sustainable development goals and evaluation of various development plans, he said.

 “It will also serve as a knowledge hub to the state in replicating best practices which are suited for the sustainable development of the state,” the Chief Minister elaborated.

The revenue surplus budget was presented on the floor of the House by

Parrikar on January 30, 2019. But he had not read out the details of the budget owing to his ill-health.

Sawant announced that the government has made provision of Rs 10 crore for construction of a memorial of Parrikar at Miramar.

The Chief Minister, who also holds finance portfolio, proposed to construct an administrative complex at Patto, Panaji, to accommodate under one roof all government offices which are now scattered across the capital  city. 

The budget proposed to implement geo-referencing of all land records, which will be partly financed by the central government; to cater to the demand of local public and to make available all the land records at the doorstep, the government proposed to open new taluka-level offices at Dharbandora and Sanguem talukas.

Furthermore the government wants to set up ultramodern record room one in each district and taluka-level offices for preservation, conservation and maintenance of land records with central financial assistance.

In order to upgrade government infrastructure at pre-primary level, the Chief Minister proposed to construct 100 model anganwadis in the entire state to provide the best infrastructure to children of age group up to six years, who are attending the anganwadis.

Sawant further said that for next three years his government will give utmost thrust on creation of employment opportunities to the Goan youth and on generation of sizeable revenue for the state.

He also proposed to digitise entire process of this single window system under the Goa Investment Promotion Board by digitising entire back-end process of all the line departments.

The government set its eyes on taking certain steps to preserve as well as to revive Goan handicrafts, thereby integrating traditional artisanship with modern art, by providing specialised training to

 Goan artisans on modern art, product development, design, packaging and marketing etc.

He said the vision for information technology aims at harnessing the contemporary and future trends in IT for the benefit of citizens, businessmen and the entrepreneurs. The objectives to achieve are threefold to make the life of the citizens easy through better delivery of services and better planning of policy, and  to inculcate the future of entrepreneurship among the youth and to generate employment.

Sawant said the government is also in process of launching a revised IT policy to encourage the existing IT industry to scale up and the new companies to come and establish a base in Goa.

The Chief Minister said the government will strengthen the Goa Board with streamlining of examination and evaluation system and providing high quality academic expertise for subjects offered by the board.

To maintain hygiene and avoid absenteeism of girl child from the school, Sawant said the government has involved NGOs to provide sanitary napkins to all the government high schools and government higher secondary schools on normal price along with dispenser and incinerator for disposal facility which can be directly availed by the girl student.

He proposed to extend various skilled-based programmes even to the aided schools under the National Skill Development Framework after successfully implementing this in government schools.

The budget said the government will also implement various programmes at college and university level which will encourage the students to take up campus startups in their early age.

To bring qualitative improvement in technical education as a first step, the Chief Minister proposed to revamp the entire curriculum and bring it on par with the best in the country; the Goa University and the Board of Technical Education will be entrusted with this task.

He also said that his government intends to make Goa an open defecation-free state, adding that the government’s commitment towards systematic and scientific solution to the issue of waste management has been reaffirmed by setting up the department of waste management.

“This new department will address all issues pertaining to management of e-waste, hazardous waste, biomedical waste, construction waste as well as plastic waste. The issue is being tackled at multiple levels and local bodies are being assisted in all ways possible through the Goa Waste Management Corporation. The solid waste management facility at Saligao processes an average of 113 tonne of waste per day since commencement of its operations. I propose to upgrade the Saligao plant from the existing capacity to 250 tonne. I also propose to set up a new solid waste management facility at Cacora with 100-tonne capacity,” he explained.

He proposed to construct full-fledged ‘Transport Bhavan’ in the state, and undertake up-gradation of bus terminuses at Panaji, Mapusa, Bicholim and Margao with ultramodern state-of-the-art facilities on PPP mode in phased manner.

The Chief Minister further proposed to take up modernisation of nine existing jetties under the Sagarmala programme of the central government. These jetties are located at Aldona, Ribandar, Old Goa and Pilgao in the river Mandovi, Banastarim in Kumbharjua canal, and Rassaim, Durbhat, Shiroda and Sanvordem in the river Zuari. The total cost of the project is Rs 73 crore.

“I proposed to focus on organic farming. The vegetables grown organically are in tremendous demand. I also proposed to encourage organic farming in paddy, cashew and coconut,” he added.

He said the cashew has been premier cash crop hence more emphasis will be laid on giving support for its enhanced production.

The government will engage the ICAR-Goa to help cashew cultivators improve the quantity and quality of their produce.

Stating that there is an urgent need to conserve khazans, the Chief Minister said that demo units will be developed as ideal khazan systems in Bicholim, Bardez, Tiswadi and Salcete talukas.

Sawant said he that is extremely hopeful that with the assistance and guidance from the group of ministers the state would be able to resume mining soon.

To continue with the mining and related trade, the government will auction the available mineral dump and extracted ore in the interim period, he said.

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