Resumption of mining in Goa to give much needed fillip to state economy: GCCI
"We are hopeful that the follow-up meetings shall be held at the earliest and an appropriate decision to resume mining in the interest of State of Goa and its subjects shall be taken at the earliest," he added.PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 27-10-2020 15:28 IST | Created: 27-10-2020 15:12 IST
The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Tuesday made a case for the resumption of mining in the state, saying it will give a much-needed fillip to the state's economy in the form of royalty and taxes and also prove to be a viable source of livelihood for the people in these trying times. The prolonged economic slowdown followed by the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected almost all the sectors of the state economy, it said. Mining is at a standstill and tourism, which was the highest revenue-generating sector for the state, has all but dried up and inflows of visitors are at a standstill, the GCCI said in a statement.
This has caused huge discomfort and financial distress to the state and its people, the industry body said adding that it is estimated by various agencies that the state's tourism industry -- which is the second-largest revenue earner in Goa -- has lost about Rs 1,000 crore worth of business because of the lockdown. On October 14, the Goa government approved the state's tourism policy after a long wait of six years and when the sector is in most distress. The policy document envisages tourism for the next 25 years with a vision to make the state the most preferred destination around the year for high spending tourists by 2024. The government has made a provision for setting up a new tourism board, which will be the backbone for all decisions pertaining to the planning, development, and marketing of tourism in Goa.
Now, the government is solely dependent on tourism to increase its dwindling revenues. The state, which collected Rs 15,000 crore in revenues last year, is already facing a 70 percent revenue shortfall in the current fiscal in the past couple of months. In this backdrop, it is of paramount importance that mining resumes in the state of Goa at the earliest. "We welcome the proactive steps taken by Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant for the resumption of mining activities in the state wherein he had a meeting with the Prime Minister and Union mines minister," GCCI president Manoj Caculo said. "We are hopeful that the follow-up meetings shall be held at the earliest and an appropriate decision to resume mining in the interest of State of Goa and its subjects shall be taken at the earliest," he added.