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Goa Budget levies fee on iron ore lying on forest land
March, 27th 2012

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has proposed to levy fee on iron ore lying on government-owned forest land and also sought to conduct auction for the ore deposited on agriculture land owned by individuals.
Presenting the state budget, the chief minister proposed to survey the ore which has been washed into the paddy fields and agricultural land, which would be auctioned by the state government.

The budget has recommended to impose a fee of Rs 250-500 per tonne depending on iron ore percentage on all the dumps on government and forest land.

Besides, Parrikar said that government would take custody of areas where ore from nearby mining sites has come to accumulate.

"There are large quantum of minerals that has got deposited on agricultural lands due to mining operations and ore handling," he said presenting the budget.

"Those deposits are said to be large in quantity and few private players are negotiating with the owners of the land for its handling," he said, adding that the government will take custody of such areas and evaluate the iron ore deposits and also degradation of the agricultural land.
"If found feasible, such ore deposits will be put to auction and the proceeds will be put to rejuvenate the affected agricultural land," Parrikar added.

The budget has also proposed to allocate 60% of the revenue generated through mining royalty for infrastructure development of the iron ore rich belt, which has been facing difficulties due to narrow roads.
   
The money, Parrikar said, will also be used to revitalise the adversely affected agriculture land and environment.
In his populist budget, Parrikar slashed petrol prices by Rs 11, announcing Rs 1,000 monthly allowance for housewives, proposing to stabilise domestic gas cylinder prices, and setting target of 15% GDP growth for the next fiscal.

Parrikar, who also holds the finance portfolio, said that VAT on petrol would be almost abolished. There would a VAT at 0.1%, just to keep a sale record.

This, Parrikar said, would cut petrol prices by almost Rs 11 per litre. Current price of petrol in Goa is Rs 65 per litre.

The Chief Minister also proposed that housewives from the families with annual income less than Rs 3 lakh would be given 'remuneration' of Rs 1,000 per month.
Domestic gas cylinder prices, as of March 16, 2012 (when Union Budget was presented) would be frozen for the next five years.

The BJP-led government also announced hike in allowance paid under Dayanand Social Security Scheme, from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per month. It covers senior citizens, widows, women abandoned by husbands, disabled and people affected with HIV.

Parrikar also said that the target for the next fiscal was to achieve 15% gross domestic product growth from the existing 8.3%.

There will be additional revenue mobilisation to the tune of 15%, and revenue deficit would be wiped out by implementing planned projects, he said.

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