Soon after the return from his brief absence, Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar is on the job. His first priority is to generate jobs. However, jobs can only be generated when there is business and industry flourishing in the State. The major concern for setting this apple cart right is to ensure that for those interested in business get their required set-ups through ease.
Recently a meeting was chaired by the chief minister in which eleven departments of the State government presented their status report on their effort to get online by October 30 to boost ease of doing business. About 22 departments in the State government are now engaged in ‘upgrading’ themselves with the help of an external professional consultancy firm.
In the overall ranking among the states in India released by DIPP, Goa dropped to 21 (in 2017) from 19 in the previous year (2016).
The major concern was that the parameters set by the Government of India, Goa did not perform in accordance with the norms and hence the downgrade.
“A committee under the chief minister has been formed which monitors constantly. From the fag-end of 2017 when our compliance as a State for ease of doing business was 18 per cent, we have managed in last few months a compliance rate of 62 per cent. This is surely a significant jump but there long journey ahead and here technology plays a very important role.
We are currently in the process of establishing a single-window system in Goa and it will take place through the Investment Promotion Board (IPB). This will also be set up by October and will be time-bound, accountable and a transparent initiative,” said Prasanna Karthik, OSD to Chief Minister at the ‘ARISE’ seminar hosted by CII.
Kirit Maganlal past Chairman of the Goa CII and partner at Magsons super stores believes that both industry and the government are strange bed partners. “The pace of reforms and the pace at which the government functions are not favourable from the industry perspective.
Even though the government has the good intention of working for the people, we do not see government coming out with quick fix solutions which the industry wants. IPB is a good agency to work with but even if they do their job quickly, the other stakeholders, particularly in the government departments stall or delay the issues. There are many new policies which are required and some of the existing ones need to be revisited.”
The issue which keeps knocking when industry and government comes into the picture is land and the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC). “This is probably the most significant contentious issue that crops up. Our State is small and land is scarce. Substantial portion from the limited land available for industrial use is under litigation.
In fact about 37.5 lakh square meters of land is stuck in a legal tangle which was earmarked for the SEZ. For industry, the dilemma is like the devil and the deep sea. We need to go digital with minimum human interface or engagement. We have still not been able to identify and come up with a regional plan, which can help setting up of industries in earmarked areas,” added Mr Maganlal.
President of the Goa State Industries Association and also a member of the IPB, Rajkumar Kamat said, “For improving upon ease of doing business in Goa there has to be an online set up among all stakeholders on industry and the government which will make it more accountable and transparent and human interaction will be minimised. Even right now the GIDC’s sub lease and transfers of land which used to take anywhere up to two years is now happening in less than 21 days.
This is the power of technology.”President of the Goa Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Sandip Bhandare is of the opinion that for industry to come and participate in manufacturing in Goa, Ease of Doing Business is an absolute must. “Ease of doing Business is the utmost important step for industry to flourish.
It has got two aspects. One when we are actually having this ease by which a person can come to Goa, set up his business in a record time and start his own production. Second, let me compare with education and examinations. While we are scoring well in our education days, we have to ensure that examination needs to be passed which means that the industrial can really see the ease of business in Goa.
After resuming his duties the chief minister, Mr Parrikar, who is showing keen interest in this will surely ensure that the deadline of October 30 will be met by the departments who are engaged in upgrading themselves,” said Sandip Bhandare the president of the GCCI. [H]