2012 yearender: A year of hope, despair for Goa

Dec 20 2012, 10:53 IST
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SummaryThe year saw the Congress-led government being reduced to single-digit minority in the legislative assembly election.

2012 was a year of hope and despair for Goa as it witnessed a significant political change in the government and the collapse of one of its gigantic businesses.

The year saw the Congress-led government being reduced to single-digit minority in the legislative assembly election. BJP, which fought election under the leadership of Manohar Parrikar, emerged as a clear winner clinching 22 out of 40 seats on its own.

After a corruption-ridden Digambar Kamat government, Goans found a new hope in Parrikar, who at the first instance reduced petrol prices by Rs 11 per litre by exempting VAT on it. Goa hit the headlines for selling petrol cheapest.

Another people-friendly news came when the government implemented the Ladli Lakshmi scheme giving Rs 1 lakh for each girl for their marriage. As everyone went gaga over the government, the chief minister himself admitted that corruption still exists in the state and set a deadline of six months to weed it out.

It scrapped several hundred government jobs which were allegedly offered to attract votes by the former government. The vigilance department began cracking down on the corrupt officials.

The state picked up a pace of progress. Parrikar charted out a deadline for completion of infrastructure projects like bridges. Within next two years, the state was expecting to have a makeover in its infrastructure.

But this was till September. After that the dream of progress come a cropper. Justice M B Shah Commission report was tabled in Parliament and the state saw unprecedented events.

The Parrikar government which wanted to score a point over the central government immediately suspended mining leases on September 10.

It was expected that the government would verify all the documents and allow the mines to operate. The union ministry of environment and forest went a step ahead and kept in abeyance all the environment clearances of the mines.

If this was not enough, a local NGO went to the Supreme Court based on the Shah Commission report, fetching an order halting transportation and extraction of ore. The mining industry, which suffices 35 per cent of state's GDP, came to a standstill.

Along with the people dependent on mining industry, the state government too plunged in the crisis with the economic slowdown inevitable in the iron ore rich mining belt.

The estimated receipts from the mining sector for current fiscal were planed at Rs 902 crore but the actual realisation towards the end of September has been to the

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