‘Investment promotion board appears toothless’
Nov 13, 2015
Source : Toi


Panaji: Despite the Bharatiya Janta Party-led government's best efforts, the investment environment in Goa remains lethargic and casual with the investment promotion policy appearing toothless, said chairperson of Champions Group Subhakar Rao.

The complex bureaucratic process has led to the state losing investments worth 1,000 crore over the last year, Rao added while speaking at the launch of two pleasure catamarans for riverine crusies.

"The analysis paralysis is too much. Goa can attract talent and create an industry without paying much," Rao said. "Getting the investment promotion board approval means nothing because a company will still need to run around to each department to get permissions."

Champions Group is a Bengaluru-based firm with interests in marketing and real estate and had approached the government 18 months ago asking for permission to operate pleasure vessels in the River Mandovi. But until the company approached then chief minister Manohar Parrikar, files would not move, Rao said.

"We approached the investment promotion board nine months ago. But since the board is not a single-window, other departments block permissions. Goa needs to streamline its permissions because it is very difficult to get the same," Rao said

An official of the investment promotion board brushed aside Rao's claims stating that there was no compulsion on companies to go through the board for maritime-based projects.

"We met in October where we looked only at industries. His proposal did not come before the board," a board member said.

The Champions Group intends to invest 100 crore in Goa with around 25 crore being pumped into the 12 pleasure catamarans that it hopes to bring into the state. The catamarans, designed as floating hotels, can accommodate four couples.

"There is a broad acceptance that there is a need for water-based stays," Rao said. The company also has plans to start a fast ferry service between Mumbai and Goa by early next year.

Champions Group's experience raises doubts over the state government's effort to create a functional investment promotion board, although chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar has tried to improve the situation .

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