The Goa government sougfor ‘preference’ to smaller states for payment of the GST compensation but Tamil Nadu objected to the proposal, Goa minister Mauvin Godinho said. Transport minister Godinho, who represents the state at the GST Council, said Goa’s revenues had suffered a huge hit due to the stopping of mining and the sharp decline in tourism due to the Covid-induced restrictions.
“As far as Goa is concerned, I’m making one demand again and again before the GST council. That as a small state, Goa should get preference like other small states as well for the compensation cess, the shortfall in revenue of the state, to be given for five years from July 2017. The compensation given to Goa as of now is ₹840 crore and what is due to us is almost the same amount. My simple request is that they should look at Goa differently, they should look at small states a little more than what they are paying and give us the money first. So that we will not have any financial crisis,” Godinho told reporters.
Godinho, however, said that his demand was objected to by the newly appointed finance minister of Tamil Nadu, who said no undue importance should be given to small states.
“He said: ‘Why should one listen to smaller states so much? Why should Goa get so much attention? I have a large constituency. Madurai is my own constituency and is bigger than the whole of Goa. My votes should have more value.’ I took strong offence to this,” Godinho said.
“I want to remind the new finance minister of Tamil Nadu Mr Palanivel, refrain from conducting yourself in a manner as a big brother versus small brother or big state versus small state. We all have equal rights. His attitude should be condemned by one and all right-thinking people. He should not target Goa,” Godinho said.
“The finance minister of Tamil Nadu should apologise. What is he trying to tell me? That he is against the Constitution of the country? Does he not believe in the Constitution of India? Does he not believe in equality before law? Does he not believe that whatever your status, whatever your standing in society, whether your constituency comprises lakhs of voters or a few thousand voters, everybody has got one vote,” Godinho said.