Goanet News Service
2005-08-18 20:51:55 UTC
LARGELY an agrarian economy, which relied considerably on imports, trade and
iron ore mining in the pre-liberation days, Goa, today, is an
industrially-developing State. Known for its high-literacy rate, widespread
knowledge of English and pleasant environment, the State has developed into a
A study on this industry, conducted by Pyramid Finance Ltd, says: "Goa has
exhibited a brilliant aptitude towards attracting pharmaceutical investments.
With less than 20 companies in this sector in 1991, there are today over 50
companies in this sector generating a total revenue of over Rs 1,900 crore,
constituting roughly 7.2 per cent of the total drug production in the country."
Goa has made big strides in the industrial sector, thanks to the fact that the
Central Government laid the industrial base in the early-1970s, liberally
showering investment and capital subsidy on Goa declaring it to be an
industrially backward district. Goa was a union territory then.
A strong foundation was laid for the industries by setting up the Goa Economic
Development Corporation (EDC) ? the apex financing body ? that also worked as a
promoting body to attract joint ventures with the Tatas, Hindustan Antibiotics,
and Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd, (BHEL).
The VAT regime, however, dismantled the fiscal incentives and concessions. Goa
till then was a sought-after paradise of holiday hunters with the liberal tax
holidays of the State and the centre. Goa has over 6,700 small-scale industrial
units and about 150 medium and large-scale units employing over one-lakh
persons. Goa's first Chief Minister, Bhausaheb Bandodkar, brought Goa into
industrial focus by inviting the Birlas, MRF, (erstwhile) CIBA. On the tourism
front, industry leaders like Taj were invited to put up their hospitality
Proactive industrial policy
Apart from pharma, Goa's industrial policy identifies biotech, food processing
and agro-based industries, IT and IT-enabled services, tourism and entertainment
industry as core areas for focused attention. The policy promises administrative
reforms, labour reforms, speedy simplified procedures for land allotment and
incentives for industrial investment aimed at generating sustainable employment
for the local youth.
It seeks to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of
the government, simplifying procedures and enhancing the capabilities of human
resources. Apart from trying to do away with the imbalance of economic
development ? with industries developed in some pockets only ? the State
Government has come out with schemes to help industries become globally
competitive. It has also offered financial incentives through a `Certification
and Patenting' scheme to encourage them to obtain certification for standards.
The State is also looking at cluster development. The government has
investment-oriented schemes to make employment for the local youth the focal
point. Special emphasis is on encouraging entrepreneurial skills among women
through additional incentives. Though a change of government was a setback, the
new government has promised to keep up the pace of industrialisation by
announcing projects such as Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Food Processing
Park, with full support from the central government.
The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), one of the oldest chambers of
commerce and industry established in 1908, is for thrust to infrastructure. GCCI
President, Mr Nitin Kunkolienkar, emphasises on the need for integrating
infrastructure like railway equipment yard, container freight station, port and
the airport to make Goa a trading hub. He wants the Goa Industrial Development
Corporation, a State nodal agency currently working with industrial estates, to
be the nodal agency for all the industries in the State.
Goa has an abundant power base. The State receives 394 MW power from the Central
grid and 48 MW from the Reliance Salgaoncar Power Co Ltd, while the maximum
demand in Goa is around 305 MW.
Industries of repute
Joint ventures with reputed foreign concerns have been set up in Goa. One such
venture is GKB Hi-Tech Lenses, a joint venture between the GKB group and the
lenses manufacturer Carl Zeiss. GKB Hi-Tech was the first to manufacture
progressive, hi-index and multi-coated lenses in India. It has opened a
subsidiary in South Africa and is planning to open laboratories and distribution
centres in West Asia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Indonesia.
A number of industrial houses have their presence in Goa ? Automobile
Corporation of Goa, Bharti Duraline, Blue Cross Laboratories, CG-PPI Adhesive
Products, Cipla, Crompton Greaves, D-Link, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, E Merck
India, Finolex Cbles, Funskool India, German Remedies, Goa Carbon, Himachal
Futuristic Communications, Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, Hindustan Lever, IFB
Industries, Kodak India, MRF, Nestle India, Philips India, Phil Corporation,
Procter and Gamble India, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Simens India, Tata Infotech,
Titan Time Products, Vicco Laboratories, Zenith Computers, Zuari Agro Chemicals
and so on. However, the State's industrial infrastructure needs to be developed
Mining, an important industry
The role of the mining industry ? though it is in the private sector ? in Goa's
industrial expansion is noteworthy. Iron ore and other minerals not only bring
in precious foreign exchange worth around Rs 1,500 crore annually, but also
support ? directly and indirectly ? over 7,000 families. Sesa Goa, Dempos,
Chowguleys, Salgaoncars and Timblos have dominated the iron-ore exports scenario
over the years. Some of these have also diversified into pig iron, sponge iron,
besides crossing the State borders for iron ore mining.
Blessed with a beautiful coastline with a number of river mouths, Goa is a
pioneer in the shipbuilding industry too. Shipyards here concentrate mainly on
building small ships, including ore-carrying barges, passenger luxury launches
and small carriers. Major players include the Chowgule group, the Dempo Groups,
the Sesa Goa Group and the Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL).
Thrust on education
The Government has set up the Goa State Education Development Corporation to
promote higher education. The pharma and IT sectors are exploring possibilities
to promote Goa as a research hub. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO)
has undertaken research work for the private sector too, thereby generating
revenue to become a self-sustaining research institute. The NIO also has several
patents in ocean research to its credit.
A major tourist centre
The State is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the country. On
the one hand, the tourism industry here is growing at a fast pace and on the
other Goa is also emerging as an industrial investment destination. The number
of tourists visiting the State during this year's tourist season has touched 24
lakh against last year's 16 lakh.
Excellent transport and communication network
Goa is well connected by road, rail, sea and air. The Dabolim International
Airport is both domestically and internationally well connected. It also
attracts international charter flights that bring tourists, mainly from European
The Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) runs high-speed passenger trains and a
number of goods trains to carry men and material across the country. Besides,
the South Western Railway, through the Madgaon-Londa broad-gauge line, connects
the State with Karnataka, parts of Maharashtra and other states.
A very good network of roads ? comprising national highways and State highways ?
connects Goa with the rest of the country. The Mormugao Port is a major centre
for exports and imports.