Industry in Goa has reacted sharply to the recent Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) study that strongly censured the state government for its failure to attract investment in the state.
The study released on September 14 painted a dismal picture of Goa’s economic progress and said that the state failed to attract investors. However, the local industry, comprising of large and small units, has lampooned it and termed it as flawed. The view of the local units is that the study needs to be trashed.
Panning the report, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) director general R S Kamat said, “Goa’s economy is on its way to recovery and much better than what it was two years back. The ASSOCHAM study is based on outdated data of 2013-14 and they have come to a totally wrong conclusion.”
The Investment Policy 2014 has received a fairly good response from the investors and Goa’s intrinsic strengths have kept it on the radar of investors, claimed Kamat. The only area where the GCCI concurs with ASSOCHAM report is in the lack of ease in doing business. “The state has not managed to score on ‘ease of doing business’ front and needs improvement,” the GCCI felt.
The ASSOCHAM study ‘Goa: Economic and Investment Scenario,’ prepared by the trade body’s economic research bureau, is pretty damaging. It says that new investment growth in the state has dipped sharply to nine per cent in 2015-16 from over 91 per cent in 2014-15.
Responding to it, information technology (IT) professional Nitin Kunkolienkar said that he doubts the authenticity of the figures. “Inputs seem to have been given by somebody who has no idea of the state. The study is prepared by a bunch of incompetent persons. Goa is attracting investments and several projects are in the pipeline,” said Kunkolienkar.
According to an industrialist Atul Pai Kane, the ASSOCHAM study does not merit comment. Kane, who is a member of the Investment Promotion Board committee, said that the initial target was to attract Rs 5,000 crore of investments through the Investment Policy 2014. “But currently, over Rs 11,000 crore of investment in terms of clearances given for expansion has come in. Projects need to be given at least 18-month timeframe for implementation and Goa cannot be indicted for under-implementation. The ASSOCHAM report cannot be taken seriously and it should not be a cause for alarm,” said Kane.
The small industry took a relatively moderate view of the ASSOCHAM study. Some unit owners felt that since the study paints a dismal picture, the government ought to come out with a white paper on the level of investments. “The sharp decline in growth rate of new investments during 2015-16 is confusing and it could be on account of a high base in the previous year,” reasoned Atul Naik of Precitech Components, Margao. “It is easy to confuse people with statistical data,” he said.