With the tight financial position of the state practically ruling out any kind of relief package, the economic revival committee in its final meeting with the government has advised ease of doing business as the only possible way of restarting trade and industry amid the COVID pandemic chaos.
In a frank dialogue with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and officials, the committee members said that since the government could not offer any help involving financial outgo the least it could do is to offer relief by way of easy processes.
Towards ease of doing business, the committee demanded strengthening of the Investment Promotion Board, the Goa IDC, automatic approvals through online systems and setting up of a tourism board.
The committee apparently pointed out that the existing system of conducting business is a mess. And thanks to the complicated procedure of approvals, no fresh investments are coming to the state.
A highly-placed source in the Goan industry, who is on the revival panel, on Wednesday said the committee recommended simpler processes to attract investors and an end to bureaucracy and corruption.
He said the committee conveyed to the government that public agitations against projects need to be avoided since most of the protests are fraudulent and way to exhort money by local panchayat and politicians.
“Some of the projects cleared by the IPB have moved out of the state,” he said.
The term of the economic revival committee ended on May 26. The committee was set up in April 11 with the aim of suggesting ways to restart the economy from the lockdown imposed on account of coronavirus.
The committee members are primarily Goan industrialists with Shivanand Salgaoncar as its chairman and Nitin Kunkolienkar as the vice-chairman.
The industry source added that the demand for ease of doing business is to lower the transaction cost.
“About 60 per cent time of a business owner is spent in submitting forms to different departments. The government is not willing to give the industry any kind of financial relief to recover from the devastation caused by the lockdown. The only monetary relief that looks likely is on electricity bills although even that has not been announced,” he said.
The economic revival committee at its previous meeting on April 30, had submitted a detailed report on measures to revive the state economy. These measures covered all sectors such as agriculture, mining, tourism, IT, manufacturing units, transport and logistics, etc.