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Doing business in Goa not easy

Panaji: According to the Goan industry, the state has not made any progress on the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) front despite claims to the contrary by the government. However, the government has said that it is already on the job of streamlining the process of granting permissions to the investment proposals by creating a single-window system.

Representative body of local industry, the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Friday said that the improvement in EoDB is “only marginal,” while president of Goa Small Industries Association (GSIA) Vishwanath Kotchkar said that it is a fact that the EoDB in the state has not got better.

He said that the local industrialists continue to face difficulties in renewing licences or obtaining approvals from different government departments.  Citing an example of the stagnant business climate in the state, Kotchkar said, “Water was assured to units in Verna industrial estate at Rs 10 per cubic metre in 2017 but till date units are not receiving water supply at the promised rate.” 

According to the department for promotion of industry and internal trade, Ministry of Commerce, reforms under EoDB cover the gamut of services such as single-window clearance for industrial projects, ease in paying taxes or licence fees, timely construction permits, getting electricity connections, registering property etc but the local industry said that none of the services included in EoDB have been successfully addressed by the state government. Realty developer Nilesh Salkar, president, CREDAI-Goa, said that EoDB has not improved at all for the real estate sector. “Builders still face problems in obtaining water and electricity connections. We have not seen any change in the situation. It is stagnant and we are where we were on EoDB.” The CREDAI president added that although Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that permissions will be granted in 30 days “nothing of that sort has happened.”

According to the realty developer, unit owners are also wondering why EoDB has been promised to new investors when existing businesses have made considerable capital investment in the state.

Small unit owner Prakash Kapadia, Mahavir Plastic Ind, Corlim industrial estate, said that unit owners face bottlenecks everywhere and the Goa IDC itself is the biggest bottleneck coming in the way of small unit owners. Kapadia, who also has a plot in Tuem industrial estate (Phase II), said that the estate has no power supply and unit owners in the estate have to run their factories on DG sets. According to Kapadia, for implementation of EoDB, the state needs to come up with a focused approach.

When asked about the grievances of the industry in connection with the EoDB issue, a senior official in the administration told this daily that the government is in the process of streamlining Ease of Doing Business for industries in Goa by creating single-window system and in the next two months everything should be in place.

The official said that currently streamlining of EoDB vis-à-vis creating single-window system for granting permission to the industrial units is making progress.

According to the official, the government wants to create a single window for the proposal coming through industries, commerce and trade and also through Goa Investment Promotion board and work in that direction is already on.

Further, the official said that the government is aware about the difficulties faced by the industry and in order to create a cordial atmosphere for ease of doing business in the state, the process is on to put in place a system.

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