President’s Desk – GCCI Bulletin September 2016

President’s Desk – GCCI Bulletin September 2016

Dear Members,

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..

Narayan Bandekar
(President – GCCI)