Thursday 28th February 2013, Panjim; Goa: The Forum for Promoting Employment & Entrepreneurship in Goa (FPEEG) is disappointed with the Union Budget 2013 for the simple reason that it has nothing specific for the State of Goa which has recorded the highest rate of unemployment in the country. Tourism – both domestic and international is one of the major sources of revenue but the 2 per cent hike in Service Tax both for the hospitality industry as well as for the security services industry could have a negative impact with more tourists turning to the unorganized sector instead of patronizing restaurants and hotels in the organized sector.
Many small beach shacks and restaurants in the coastal belt are finding it difficult to survive in present scenario. These beach shacks and restaurants depend on the inflow of tourist traffic, which is only seasonal. The hike in Service Tax will hit them hard and many of them may prefer to fudge records to make ends meet. The budget makes no allocation or compensation for the State of Goa given the mining mess in the State with no early respite in site. The attempt to increase revenue through the indirect taxes method will only see a price rise, which will affect tourists both domestic and foreign, most of whom are already disheartened with the increasing prices of food, board and lodge and fuel in the State.
Goa was largely dependent on the long staying tourists from the UK and the rest of Europe who came in charters and were the big spenders who stayed for durations ranging from a few weeks to a few months. With the hike in prices of fuel, food, accommodation and the like, these tourists are moving to other locations like Thailand and other south-east Asian countries where the prices of agricultural produce and accommodation are much lower.
The Railway Budget too does not hold much promise for Goa. The need of the hour was additional Express trains from Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi particularly during the peak tourist season from November to May which with the exception of one or two have been completely ignored by the Railway Budget.
FPEEG or Forum for Promoting Entrepreneurship & Employment in Goa strives to create awareness about employment opportunities in the Small-Scale sector besides providing vocational training and guidance | General Secretary: Maneesh Arora | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org