India and Thailand are now celebrating the 70th year of diplomatic relations which began in 1947. The two-way trade between India and Thailand in 2015-16 was about US $ 8 billion, with about US $5.3 billion in Thai exports to India and US $2.7 billion in Indian exports to Thailand. The fast growing Indian market remains attractive for Thai investors, given the vast opportunities available in infrastructure sector, tourism and retail industries. Goa exports a lot of marine products, pig iron, chemicals and machinery and machinery parts to Thailand and imports and imports a lot of fashion garments and food products. In the financial year 2015-16 Goa has exported goods worth USD 29 million to Thailand.
The Thai Consul General Mr Ekapol Poolpipat visited the Chamber on 13th Sep 2016. He said that he felt at home in Goa as his country shared a lot of similarities with Goa such as beaches, common fruits such as coconuts, pineapples; a flourishing tourism industry etc. During the interaction with the Consul General, GCCI members said that they were impressed with Thailand’s expertise in warehousing and cold chains as well as food processing. GCCI will work on some exchange programme with the Thai Consulate to facilitate this and is also considering an exchange on Thai and Indian cuisine.
Connectivity and a good infrastructure is the need of any industry. The Cuncolim Industrial Estate is facing the problem of sagging, overhead electrical cables. This I.E has quite a large number of industries such as ferro alloys, steel mills, chemical industries and fish export houses which access the National Highway for movement of their raw material and finished goods. The sagging, crisscrossing wires are a major hindrance in the movement of containers, trailers etc. Ideally, underground cabling is the need of the hour at all industrial estates . However, the electricity department should at least ensure bunching & tightening of these overhead cables so that vehicular movement is eased.
Availability of plots in the Kundaim Industrial Estate was advertised in Nov 2015 and they were subsequently allotted . However, till date not only has possession not been been given, even the tendering work to undertake infrastructure development of plots has not been done. We have taken up this issue with the GIDC and urged them to expedite the matter.
Sometimes government regulations are very much in place to facilitate a job, however, authorities many a times like to complicate issues even when simple solutions are available. A case in point is obtaining the sanad conversion. I had to intervene in a case faced by a member and brought to the notice of the Deputy Chief Minister that Annexure -II , 27.II of The Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, 2010 as published vide Notification No. 21/1/TCP/10/Pt File/3256 dated 6th September 2010 of the Town and country Planning Department gives the procedure for obtaining the conversion sanad which is quite straight forward, simple and in keeping with the Government policy of facilitating ease of doing business.
However, in practice the procedure followed by the Collectorate is quite cumbersome and causes avoidable expense, unnecessary inconvenience and undue delay in completion of the procedure and for obtaining conversion sanad. We have requested the Dy CM who is also the Minster for Urban Development to kindly review the matter and direct the Collectorate/ Mamlatdar’s office to discard the arbitrary procedure being currently followed and to follow the procedure as laid in the Notification.
GCCI has also written to the Chairman of the Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board drawing his attention to Chief Town Planner, TCP’s directive to put on hold the technical clearances for agriculture sub-division as well as construction of farm house until the guidelines/ policies are finalized. The Goa (Regulation of Land Development and Building Construction) Act, 2008 clearly regulates the permission that can be granted by the Planning and Development authorities. Regulation 9 (3)(b)(b) stipulates that “farm houses shall be permitted only in plots with minimum area of 4000 square meters and coverage 2.5% and FAR 5 and height 5.5 meters, following the guidelines issued by the TCP department”. When such regulation already exists in the statute itself, we feel that the subordinate direction issued by the TCP department is unwarranted.
Today, it has become a trend wherein many agriculturists and horticulturists opt to buy farm houses and get into organic farming by cultivating vegetables, fruits & flowers through green and poly houses and utilize the land for agricultural produce. The government can use this opportunity and promote increase in agricultural produce in the State. This will reduce dependency on the other states for vegetables and fruits and other agricultural produce. GCCI opines that the Chief Town Planner should be requested to withdraw the note issued as directions and guidelines/ policies should be framed on priority in order to stream line the approval process for construction of farm houses.
Recently six water ways of Goa, which are the lifeline of the state, have been declared by Government of India as National Waterways (NWs) under National Waterways Act 2016.We sincerely thank Hon’ble Minister of Shipping Shri. Nitin Gadkariji for having included the Goan rivers as National Waterways.
The Chamber has been demanding the formation of the Maritime Board since the past 4-5 years. If the Maritime Board is in place, the state would be in a better position to implement the development guidelines of Inland Waterways Authority of India (the nodal agency entrusted with the development of the National Waterways) for the rivers. The Chamber totally supports the initiative of the Government to form the Goa Maritime Board as this will attract investments and involve multiple agencies in development of infrastructure. The presence of such institutional structure will lead to development of the minor ports / jetties and will give a boost to manufacturing and economic activities in the hinterland. A well-developed coastal shipping and inland navigation network in the State would have a multiplier effect on its economy. Both offer a cost-effective option for moving traffic of hazardous and bulk cargo out of the congested surface transport network in the State. GCCI has requested Shri. Dilip Parulekar,Hon’ble Minister of Ports, to clear the bureaucratic hurdles so that the formation of the Maritime Board is notified at the earliest..
(President – GCCI)