Judging by what is said in the realm of politics, the state of Goa has the potential to be many things.
Judging by what is said in the realm of politics, the state of Goa has the potential to be many things. Photo: Gomantak Times

A hub of possibilities with no probabilities in Goa

A string of industrial hubs have been announced for Goa, but have any steps been taken to make any of these happen?

If one keeps track of the statements by the political class, then the state of Goa, one would believe, has the potential to be many things and more.

This week, the State hosted the Invest Goa Summit that brought industrialists from India and abroad with the intention of marketing investment opportunities in Goa.

The outcome of the summit will become known in the months ahead, as investments can’t be rushed.

Judging by what is said in the realm of politics, the state of Goa has the potential to be many things.
Language, demography and the threat to Goan identity

Yet, what is it that Goa offers to investors? Quite simply, after 60 plus years of Liberation, Goa is a tourism destination whose appeal is waning internationally.

Goa has an iron ore mining industry that has been at a standstill for over a decade, and is only just about showing early signs of revival, but that too has drawn opposition from the people.

Besides this, the State has been unable to increase the capacity of its industrial estates by a substantial amount primarily due to lack of available land.

Goa’s small size and environmentally sensitive location does not make it a major competitor with other states in the country for investment.

But, Goa’s politicians have very different ideas of what Goa can be and have, in the past, proclaimed the various hubs that can be developed in the State.

A cursory search of statements from the political class led to the discovery that, in the past two years, Goa has been touted as a defence manufacturing hub, a logistics hub, a startup hub, a global meetings, summits hub, an educational hub, a fisheries hub and an IT hub.

Judging by what is said in the realm of politics, the state of Goa has the potential to be many things.
Goa's Mopa airport sees unprecedented growth in it's first year

I might have missed some, but this already is a list of seven hubs, which for Goa’s 3,702 square kilometres is possibly more than the state can sustain.

That is seven, but on the eve of the Invest Goa summit, there was another hub announced. And so, the newest of these is that Goa can be an international investment hub, which takes the list to eight hubs, or possible hubs, in Goa.

However, the question that pops up almost immediately is how can Goa become an international investment hub?

The words ‘international, investment and hub’ somehow don’t appear to resound well with Goa when they are in the same sentence. Foreign investment in Goa is negligible, and in what area would fresh investment come?

Judging by what is said in the realm of politics, the state of Goa has the potential to be many things.
What you didn’t know about Bhagwati plateau in Canacona

Another proposed hub that would lead to a similar question is how does Goa have the potential to become a defence manufacturing hub? The only defence manufacturing unit of note that the state has is the Goa Shipyard Limited. 

What other defence manufacturing can Goa develop, when it does not have the feeder industries in the state?

One can understand the possibilities of an educational hub or an IT hub and even a fisheries hub, given the coastline and existing fishing industry, but any of these would require a lot of work on the part of the government to make it happen.

In fact, an educational or IT hub would be welcome in Goa and should be seriously taken forward.

Judging by what is said in the realm of politics, the state of Goa has the potential to be many things.
Have you tried dry fish in Goa’s wet monsoons? Here’s what Chefs recommend

Goa’s potential as an educational hub has been spoken about by successive governments, but the progress has been negligible.

The government has even enacted the Private Universities Act that would permit specialised courses in higher education by private investments in the field of education. But, the universities are yet to materialise.

One other hub that has been discussed quite often in Goa is the possibility of a logistics hub.

With Goa having two airports, a port, two railway lines and a railway junction, this could be a possible, but again one would have to take into consideration the increased traffic on the roads as also the possible environmental concerns due to this.

Returning to the educational and IT hubs, Goa is best suited for these, but, again, land is a very important consideration for these projects and the government has to move with utmost care.

Also, neither of these would be polluting. An IT hub would draw talent from across the world, talent that would be highly educated.

What Goa would have to provide, besides the land for the units, would be housing.

On the other hand, the land needs of an educational hub could be taken care of within the campus itself, through hostels for students and accommodation for the staff.

Judging by what is said in the realm of politics, the state of Goa has the potential to be many things.
No wonder turtles keep coming back to this beach in South Goa

Of course the delay in allotting land for the IIT could go against Goa, but then, under the Private Universities Act, the investors need to find their own land. 

Rather than proclaiming on possible hubs, the government should select a couple and work on making these happen. That would be more beneficial to the state.

Your Gateway to Goa, India

The Gomantak Times app is the best way to stay informed on anything happening in Goa. From breaking news to the top 10 restaurants to visit, GT helps you navigate your time in Goa.

Download the Gomantak Times app on your Android or IOS device.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Goa News in English on Gomantak Times
www.gomantaktimes.com