Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission NK Singh, on Friday, said that the slowdown in Goa's tourism industry is on account of the general slowdown of the economy and pressure from the upcoming competitive destinations. He also reiterated that Goa needed to address the issue of a huge floating population, which is putting a strain on the state's infrastructure. This came as NK Singh addressed the press conference in Panaji, after meeting a cross-section of political, social, professional and business groups.
Speaking about the tourism in Goa, he said, “Goa's tourism potential is talked about greatly. But the fact remains, that we have been given data that this tourist potential has gone down in the last two years. I think partly it is on account of global factors. There has been a general slowdown in the economy. Also, because other competing destinations have also come up and I think it is natural that the market forces will keep taking people to more competitive destinations.”
NK Singh, who has also been the Finance Commission Chief, further added that Goa should tap its beaches, which are already popular with tourists, for generating renewable energy like solar, wind and tidal. Moreover, he also addressed the issue of the high density of migrant population in the coastal state. He stated an issue claiming that Goa’s tourist and migrant population outnumbers the resident population of 1.5 million.
"Goa has a high density of migrant population. I hope that all this migrant population are reckoned in the next round of census. There is a huge floating population. This puts a strain on the infrastructure in terms of facilities, urban facilities and so on. What is to be done of the floating population deserves priority and attention," Singh said.
The Chief Minister of the state, Pramod Sawant also made a presentation before the Commission demanding that extra grants received by Goa should be increased from 42% to 50%. Talking further after the consultation, Singh said, "On the ease of doing business front, notwithstanding the progress made by Goa, particular in terms of initiation of new businesses, permissions to be granted, single-window clearances, are the areas where further progress needs to be made."