In a sharp critique of the Budget 2024, Goa Forward Chief Vijai Sardesai has cast doubt on the credibility of the economic survey, alleging that figures of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and growth rate have been manipulated. Sardesai points out that, according to the economic survey, most sectors, excluding construction and hotels, are witnessing a decline. Notably, the banking and finance sector has plummeted by -25% in the fiscal year 2022-23. Sardesai questions how the GSDP of the state can show a remarkable 10% increase, surpassing the national GDP growth rate, when the banking sector is experiencing such a significant downturn. He suggests that the government may be inflating the growth rate to justify taking more loans.
Furthermore, Sardesai highlights the lack of originality in the budget, noting that many announcements are recycled from the previous year. While acknowledging a few commendable announcements, such as the Centenary Celebrations of Padma Bhusan Ravindra Kelekar and Manoharai Sardesai, as well as targets for the completion of projects like the wholesale fish market and the Fatorda Police Station with adjoining police quarters, he raises concerns about the overall implementation.
Sardesai emphasizes that the implementation rate of last year’s budget is only 25%, indicating a significant gap between announcements on paper and actual execution. This criticism underscores the need for transparent and effective governance to ensure that budgetary allocations translate into tangible outcomes for the welfare of the state.