19 March 2016 Current Affairs: Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar holding the Finance portfolio on 16 March 2016 presented a 158 crore rupees revenue surplus budget in the State assembly. The total size of the budget for 2016-17 is 14694 crore rupees.This is 9 percent higher compared with the 2015-16 figures. This is the first time in four years that the state increased the VAT on motor spirits by 7 percent. The budget focuses on increasing all round allocations especially on social welfare, education, health and infrastructure apart from agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and fisheries.The State achieved highest per capita income of 257490 rupees in the country during 2015-16. The State GDP achieved 10 percent growth rate with a GSDP of 60893 crore rupees.The fiscal deficit was kept at 2.4 percent, well below the limit of 3 percent. The government borrowing ratio is also within the stipulated limit.He also announced that Coconut trees will now be brought under the agriculture department instead of the forests department with a provision for mandatory permission for cutting any coconut tree.VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) was increased to 18 percent from 12.5 percent.Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol was increased to 22 percent from 15 percent.Coconut trees will now be brought under the agriculture department instead of the forests department with a provision for mandatory permission for cutting any coconut tree.VAT as well as tax on entry of goods in respect of regasified liquefied natural gas used by the industry was increased from the existing 20 percent to 30 percent.Goa Staff Selection Commission will be constituted for selection of candidates for appointments to the subordinate services, i.e. all non-gazetted posts in the Government organization as well as autonomous bodies and semi Government organizations.Two Offices of Deputy Collector will be established at Sattari and Sanguem respectively.Single window system will be created by integrating all services related to land matters, so that people buying land will not have to undergo various procedures.Digital Locker Integration will be created in line with Digital India Initiative of the Union Government wherein people will not have to submit required documents repeatedly for availing any certificate or service.The state government will increase the age limit for government job aspirants from 40 to 45 years.A full-fledged Coconut Development Board would be put in place headed by Coconut Farmer or an expert. It would be mandatory to seek NOC from the agriculture department to cut coconut trees.The government also announced the enhancement of support price for Coconut increased from 8 rupees to 10 rupees per coconut. IFFI-Secretariat will be developed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis with a token provision of amount of 1 crore rupees.With a seed capital funding of up to 50 Lakh rupees for start-up, the government will target 100 such start ups and invest through Investment Promotion Board (IPB).The luxury tax on hotel stay is reduced from 60 percent to 25 percent during off season between June and September.Entry fee for Casinos has been enhanced from of 700 to 1000 rupees per person.Necessary amendments will be made to remove Feni from ‘Liquor’ category and place it as a Heritage drink, since it has medicinal and other values. The state will reduce 5 percent of VAT on Feni to support local producers.
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