The prolonged economic slowdown followed by the Covid pandemic has adversely affected almost all the sectors of the state economy. Mining is at a standstill and Tourism, which was the highest revenue generating sector for the State, has all but dried up and inflows of visitors is at a standstill. This has caused huge discomfort and financial distress to the state and its people. It is estimated by various agencies that the state’s tourism industry which is the second largest revenue earner in the state, has lost about Rs 1,000 crore worth of business because of the lockdown. On October 14, the Goa government approved the state’s tourism policy after a prolonged wait of six years and when the sector is in most distress. The policy document envisages tourism for the next 25 years with a vision to make the state the most preferred destination around the year for high spending tourists by 2024. The government has made a provision for setting up new tourism board, which will be the backbone for all decisions pertaining to planning, development and marketing of tourism in Goa.
Now, the government is solely depending on tourism to increase its dwindling revenues. The state, which collected Rs 15,000 crore in revenues last year, is already facing a 70 per cent revenue shortfall in the current fiscal in past couple of months. In this backdrop it is of paramount importance that mining resumes in the State of Goa at the earliest. “We welcome the proactive steps taken by Chief Minister of Goa Dr. Pramod Sawant for resumption of mining activities in the State wherein he had meeting with Prime Minister and Union Mines Minister. We are hopeful that the follow up meetings shall be held at the earliest and an appropriate decision to resume mining in the interest of State of Goa and its subjects shall be taken at the earliest. Mining resumption will provide the much needed fillip to the State’s Coffers in form of royalty and taxes and at the same time it would also provide a viable and continuous source of livelihood to thousands of Goans in these desperate times of Covid 19 Pandemic.” Said Manoj Caculo, President, Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.