ASSOCHAM submits suggestions to political parties for inclusion in election manifesto
The ASSOCHAM Special Task Force on Goa has suggested the political parties in fray for upcoming assembly elections to attach more importance to implementation of investment intentions worth over Rs 31,000 crore attracted by the state as of December 2016.
“Translating investment intentions into formal proposals by investors and consequential implementation is a significant issue, as such timely and effective steps in this regard will further encourage private sector to invest in Goa,” said ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr D.S. Rawat.
“Goa should aim to create about 50,000 new jobs for about 25 per cent of population that will fall in the age group of 15-30 years in next five years to main the current level of workforce participation rate of about 40 per cent,” said Mr Rawat.
Current Investment scenario in Goa:
While as of December 2016 Goa had attracted total outstanding investments across all industries from both public and private sources worth over Rs 31,000 crore which grew at about 22 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y).
Over half (62 per cent) of these investment intentions attracted by the state remain under different stages of implementation.
While under implementation growth rate of investments as witnessed in the period between December 2012-2013 (-6 per cent) and December 2013-2014 (-0.2 per cent) had seen some improvement, it had shot up to about 14 per cent in December 2014-2015 and crossed 50 per cent mark as of December 2016.
Bureaucracy be reduced, systems be simplified and time-bound clearance of stalled investment projects are mandatory to promote good governance and infuse transparency and predictability into Government policies.
Need for sustainable tourism development:
Considering that Goa is largely a service-dominated economy and the fact that tourist arrival clocked over 30 per cent growth between 2014 and 2015 as the total number of tourists visiting Goa increased from about 40.5 lakh to over 52.7 lakh, it is concerning to note that investments attracted by hotels and tourism industry in the state accounted for just about seven per cent out of the total investments attracted by different sectors.
Besides, investments attracted by Goa in hotels and tourism sector grew just over nine per cent Y-o-Y to reach Rs 2,200 crore as of December 2016.
“Sustainable tourism development under public-private partnership (PPP) mode is pertinent for Goa to establish itself as a preferred MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions) destination alongside becoming an emerging spot for hosting national conventions, festivals and seminars to boost the growth in investments attracted by tourism and hospitality industry,” suggested ASSOCHAM agenda.
There is also an urgent need to spread awareness about protecting tourist hotspots in Goa in order to maintain their natural beauty and help ensure their long-term vitality as tourism destinations.
Besides, coastal zone protection must also be given priority by developing approaches and strategies that allow for better planning and management of tourism activities in these areas.
Suggestions for inclusive growth:
In wake of the upcoming elections, ASSOCHAM has urged all political parties to promote total transparency in election funding as unaccounted election expenditures are breeding ground for corrupt and anti-development activities.
Special attention be accorded to the needs of women, youth and deprived sections of society as such development programmes be implemented with twin objectives of poverty alleviation and creation of new jobs.
Besides, ensuring safety of women at workplace, encouraging late marriage of women, scholarship to women in studies, incentivising industries with more female to male ratios and promoting entrepreneurship amid rural women through self-help groups are certain key suggestions to promote women empowerment in the state.
There is a need for the state to encourage establishment of mineral-based industries to open employment avenues for rural and backward classes. Besides, tax rebates and interest subsidies be extended to private industries willing to set up power plants in Goa.
Goa must also strive to achieve financial protection and health security for its entire population and further improve access, equity and quality of education and help the curriculum match with industry needs.
Ensuring greater private sector participation in development and management of infrastructure assets across the state needs to be an integral part of state’s strategy to meet funding requirements.
ASSOCHAM has also listed out plethora of suggestions on various sectors - facilitating ease of doing business for MSMEs (marginal, small and medium enterprises); minimising political intervention in police and judiciary system and developing comprehensive fishing policy to perk up production.