The Coronavirus pandemic has wrecked the lives of millions around the planet and the small western state of Goa hasn’t been untouched by the catastrophe. The tourism industry which forms the bedrock of the economy of Goa has taken a severe beating, and with India past the peak and people yet afraid to travel outside, the tourism industry is set to feel the effects of the China virus. However, the Goa Government has brought an ingenious idea to make sure that employment activities are compounded in the state.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant held a review meeting of the cluster development plan under the centrally-sponsored Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) and came up with a path-breaking idea that could revitalize Goa’s economy.
“Clusters such as Paddy Processing, Goan multi fruits processing, Coconut and Coir, Spice and Herbal, food processing through self-help group, pottery, sugarcane jaggery, Khola chillies, Vegetables were identified to get developed to generate employment,” said a statement from CMO.
In layman terms, the decision will help the government to look for more village-level scaling of work opportunities. Consequently, these clusters developed will lead to employment generation, revenue enhancement, and simultaneously help build a sustainable economy by promoting local artisans, farmers, self-help groups, etc by providing them common facility centres to facilitate the processing of agricultural and other produce.
The CMO further said that the meeting held on Thursday was a part of the government’s move to revive the state”s economy under Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Swayampoorna Goa initiative.
Chief Minister @DrPramodPSawant held a review meeting of Cluster Development Plan for #AtmanirbharBharat, #SwayampurnaGoa under the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), on 15 Oct 2020. pic.twitter.com/cLUWkxN6RQ
— CMO Goa (@goacm) October 16, 2020
With the mining industry shut, and with the tourism industry hugely bringing seasonal jobs, the government is now looking to evolve new sectors to work. The Cluster schemes and the model centre together — look to fill the gap in the state’s job market.
“There are around one lakh job seekers who have registered themselves with the State Employment Exchange,” admitted Sawant about the lull in jobs dues to the pandemic.
Mining in Goa has been one of the pillars of its economy with thousands of people involved directly or indirectly, including those operating trucks and barges used for transporting the ore. However, the numbers of both have dwindled since mining was shut, impacting those dependent on it for their livelihood.
While the scheme has been announced, it will take a few weeks before it is handed to CII, and for any of the activity to begin. However, Goa has shown the way to other states that with the decentralization of jobs and by thinking slightly out of the box, some genius ideas that can prop up the economy can be thought of.