Team B&C/ NT
What do Goan businessmen want towards industrial transformation of the state? A panel discussion on the topic on Day 2 of the summit revealed that local businessmen wants industry viewpoint to be at the forefront during times of policy making.
Panelists Ashok Chowgule, chairman, Chowgule Group, Sandeep Asolkar, chairman, SFC Technokogies Ltd., Manoj Caculo, president, GCCI and Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder and managing director, Hiranandani Group, Mumbai, broadly expressed the opinion that, industry voice is mostly set aside by society at large and even by the government. They said that, thanks to the voices of activists which is getting more strident by the day, the voice of industry is mostly neglected.
Chowgule pointed out that, the state economy is in crisis thanks to industries closing down. Referring to the mining industry closure, he indicated that, activists who showed undue concern about the environment were the root cause of the industry coming to a stop. “Mining companies made serious efforts to meet the government but there is a form of environmental terrorism that is derailing projects,” said Chowgule.
Caculo pointed out that activists are often made out to be heroes. Urging media not to make activists heroes, Caculo said, “Dissent has to be tolerated but dissent must not be allowed to become destructive.” According to the GCCI president, most of the time dissent from activists comes at the last moment when industry is on the verge of commissioning the project.
Real estate baron, Hiranandani said that, Mumbai faced problems in construction projects thanks to the Urban Land Ceiling Law, however builders got together to change the law. “When laws are a hindrance they must be changed or else the projects get stalled,” pointed out Hiranandani.
Asolkar, argued that, Goa was one of the best place to doing business owing to its small size but the state faces more opposition from activists compared to other states. All panelists were of the opinion that, Mopa airport project must not be stalled.
The panel discussion at the India Today state conclave was moderated by a senior editor of the magazine.