By Priti Naik
Goa can emerge as a major logistical hub for the South Asia region, said Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho. He claimed that the state could emulate the Dubai and Singapore model to make a mark as a major logistics centre.
Speaking to the media after taking over charge as the state’s new Industries Minister, Godinho also slammed the state of affairs in the industries sector over the last ten years, a period when the BJP has been in power in the state without interruption.
“Goa can be a major logistical hub because it is so well located. We have a second airport coming up. We have broad-gauging of railways taking place. We have a good port. We can be a multi nodal hub. Why can this not happen?” Godinho told reporters.
“Singapore, Dubai are desert areas. They have become major logistical hubs. Goa is blessed with everything and by making it a logistical hub you are not spoiling the environment. You are not getting a hazardous industry, only you are handling goods and sending them to other places in the country or the rest of the world,” the industries minister also said.
On Wednesday, Godinho also met officials from trade bodies, namely the Confederation of Indian Industries and the Goa State Industries Association, who briefed the Minister about issues related to the industries sector.
“Goan industries were not getting land for expansion, they have some difficulties. Goan industries should get the first chance to expand. Second, why are new industries not coming to Goa. They are not getting land and the facilities that they need. Conditions in industrial estates are pathetic, roads are poor, street lights are non-functional, there is no maintenance in the states,” Godinho said.
Godinho also hinted at tweaking regulations in order to facilitate smooth functioning of the sector, as far as private stakeholders are concerned. “Other states manage to attract big industries, MNCs, (but) why are they not coming to Goa? We need to bring about this change and in order to bring this change, we may have to change some laws, whether it is changing or tweaking IPB regulations or (clearing) IDC Act bottlenecks,” Godinho said.