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FOCUS ON RESURRECTION OF ECONOMY: GOVERNOR

Panaji April 22, 2020

Governor of Goa Shri Satya Pal Malik held a meeting with Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant, and Chief Secretary, Shri Parimal Rai, IAS, at Raj Bhavan today, to take a stock of the economy of the State during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also present was Shri Rupesh Kumar Thakur, IAS, Secretary to Governor. At the very outset  Governor Congratulated Dr. Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister and Shri Parimal Rai, IAS, Chief Secretary for successfully containing the spread of Covid-19 in Goa. However, he advised the State to be on constant guard against the unseen enemy.

          Governor said that though Goa is presently Covid free, the State has not escaped from the jolt of economic slowdown due to Covid-19 outbreak. Though the State is mainly agrarian in nature, it had a huge revenue coming from Tourism and Mining. Already nonexistent mining activity since 2012 had hit the Goan economy and now with the outbreak of Corona, Tourism activity too seems to have been severely affected. Therefore Governor suggested the Chief Minister to focus on resurrection of economy by augmenting revenue and curtailing expenditure in various sectors of the economy.

Governor suggested the Chief Minister to focus on agriculture as it contributes to only 7 to 8% GSDP. There are lot of fallow lands in Goa which are in idle State. Focus on these can be given so as to revive this sector. Goa depends hugely on the neighbouring States for its consumption needs like Rice, vegetables, dairy etc. Government can come up with attractive schemes or incentivise farmers so as to promote local variety of Rice, Mangoes, Cashew, Chillies and other agricultural produce. Goa has spice plantations some of which are in existence for two centuries. Government should Promote spice plantations, like cloves, nutmeg, cumin etc. Governor Shri Malik further suggested to promote agro based industries in the state for which cold storage and warehousing facilities should be developed. He emphasised that State should become self sufficient in agriculture.

Governor Shri Malik suggested that mining activity should be restarted as early as possible. Mining activities have halted since 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases. The Government has to fast track the proposal before the central Government for resumption of mining leases by way of legislative cure in the form of amendment to the mining laws, so as to get extension for leases upto 2037.

 

Governor suggested that Government should also focus on Tourism Industry by reinventing its identity as tourist destination for rich culture, heritage, architecture and culinary aspects. Tourism should be promoted through proactive marketing and the State should try to attract high end tourists by developing high end services such as Floatel, Golf course, Yacht, Marina, through private sector participation. Being the first Covid-free State in the country, Goa can also be promoted as safest tourist destination of the world.

Governor  advised the Government to focus on industries specially IT Industries, Knowledge based industries, Pharma Industries in the State by incentivising them through various Government run schemes, simplifying procedures and providing single window facilities. He further suggested to strengthen the Investment Promotion Board to attract investment in the State.

He further said that Goa can be transformed into an education hub. Recently Goa Govt. has approved The Goa Private Universities Bill. State can invite big players to Goa to start courses in Hospitality Management, Shipping or Maritime Courses or other professional courses adhering to international standards so that students from affluent families enrol in the State. This needs to be coupled with better infrastructure facilities in the State, like transport, road network, better policing so that people look at Goa as an Educational hub for quality education.

He further said that Goa can also be developed as a place for medical tourism and wellness tourism. Goa has several Ayurveda and Yoga Resorts, which are to be promoted and publicised aggressively.

Chief Minister said that a committee has already been constituted by the State Govt. to study the impact of Covid-19 Pandemic and suggested measures to revive the Goan economy. The committee has submitted its preliminary report to the Government which is being examined. Chief Minister assured the  Governor that all possible measures would be taken to revive the economy which has been severely dented by Covid-19 pandemic.

DI/NB/JA/KM/2020/

 

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