Stating that Goa will have a vital role to play in making India a superpower, Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Saturday urged the state government to explore every possibility to harness and tap the tourism potential in Goa.
“Tourism is undoubtedly one of the best possibilities and Goa should come up with proposals and execute projects through which tourists have higher activity; maybe we can engage Australia and New Zealand to bring sea sport and modern sea facilities into the state, improve the infrastructure for better connectivity in remote areas and also look at high-end tourists,” the Union Minister said while speaking at the valedictory function of the Vibrant Goa Global Expo and Summit held at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium in Taleigao.
Goyal said that the state should look into introducing helicopter services connecting both the districts and added that the central government would provide all assistance including finance to create ‘empowered infrastructure’ to promote tourism in Goa.
He said that the central government is keen to provide special packages for new hotel infrastructure. He also said that the Centre intends to expand railway infrastructure in the state.
“Goa should look to host more electronic dance and music festivals like Sunburn in different parts of the state. We can get groups from across the world to Goa to showcase their culture and also promote local Goan festivals,” Goyal said.
“Film shooting can be a huge driver of the economic activity, jobs and encourage the hospitality industry as well as generate revenue for the state. Goa should have a single-window system to grant permissions for entertainment and film shootings,” he said.
The Union Minister expressed hope that with GST on hotel tariffs being slashed from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, the flow of tourists in the state will increase substantially during this season.
“Vibrant Goa summit is truly the beginning of Goa’s advent in the spirit of competitive federalism where it will compete with the rest of the states to attract investment and bring jobs to Goa. It will expand the economic activity and truly make Goa the finest state in the entire country,” the Union Minister said adding that Goa is an investment destination, as it is well connected by all modes of transport.
Goyal further said that the ‘mojo’ of large businesses like mining will be back in Goa with the central and state governments working together to find a solution.
Stressing on the need to involve traditional fishermen in mechanised fishing, Goyal said that the government should come up with a policy wherein the young fishermen can be trained to carry out fishing activities in large vessels in the deep.
He also said that the government would hold talks with the Marine Products Export Development Authority to work out a mechanism as to how Goa can attract young traditional fishermen towards mechanised fishing and boost the export of fish and fish products from the state.
The Union Minister said that many developmental projects, including the Mopa Airport project have been stalled by activists and NGOs by filing litigations in courts.
“With folded hands, I would like to request all NGOs that are opposed to the airport project to refrain from opposing such initiatives, as these projects promise rapid economic growth in Goa and enormous job opportunities for the local Goans. It is unfortunate that every time a new initiative like the expansion of port, a new airport, new hotels are taken up in Goa, NGOs and activists find ways to create an obstruction,” Goyal said appealing to the people of Goa to start a mass movement against the particular NGOs and activists.