Goa tourism policy suggests to develop state assets through private sector
In addition to setting up marinas and golf courses, the draft Goa Tourism Policy has also suggested redeveloping the assets of state-run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) through the "private sector" and disengaging it from commercial activities. Setting up of marinas (specially designed harbour with moorings for pleasure yachts and small boats) was stridently opposed by fishermen in the past. The proposed golf course project in North Goa had faced resistance too on environmental concerns.
The policy, which has been kept open for suggestions, would be discussed by state MLAs on January 16 in a meeting under Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar. The document also talks about redeveloping the assets of the state-run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) through the "private sector" and disengaging the corporation from various services. The draft document also speaks of forming Goa Tourism Board (GTB), to be headed by tourism minister, which will take up the responsibilities that have been handled by bodies like GTDC and the State Level Marketing and Promotion Committee (SLMPC). The Core Tourism Programmes under the policy emphasises on "development standards and development guidelines for setting up small marinas and jetties at specific locations identified in the state".
In the Leisure and Entertainment sector, the policy advocates development of golf courses in the coastal state on case-to-case basis proposals based on international guidelines, with a "conscious consideration of best practices to limited negative impacts on the environment". The policy also talks about creating "international class gaming cluster to relocate offshore casinos". The policy, designed by a private consultant, also stressed for the redevelopment of the Tourism Department's assets through "vibrant private sector" . "Assets such as hotels, buildings, land and immovable assets and so on shall be redeveloped through private sector participation under a long-term lease or licencing arrangements, for development or operation and management," the draft stated.
GTDC shall progressively play the role of a facilitator and aid investments in the tourism sector and slowly disengage itself from commercial activities, it stated. The document also talks about the transfer of properties to private parties. "Transfer of infrastructure, as and when required shall be undertaken at acquisition rates for such land or property," it has proposed.
(With inputs from agencies.)