By Navneet Mishra
New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says efforts are on to take tourism initiatives beyond the tried and tested 3-S formula of sun, sand and sea into remote villages in the state’s hinterland.
The villages of Goa have begun to carve out the latent potential for tourism in the state. This will enable villages in the interiors of Goa to connect with tourism and enhance the employment potential, says Sawant. “We are trying out new ideas to promote tourism in the state. The attempt is to take tourism to the interiors of the state so that it can flourish in the entire state rather than staying limited to a small region,” Sawant told IANS.
Talking to IANS, Chief Minister Sawant listed several new initiatives taken by the government in the state along with important features of the state’s new tourism policy. “The new policy will further enhance opportunities for tourism in Goa,” he said.
Tourism is the backbone of Goa’s economy. According to one statistic, 40 per cent of the state’s population is directly or indirectly dependent on tourism for employment. The tourism industry is growing in Goa at about 11 per cent per annum due to the government’s efforts to promote it. “Now, the government is engaged in developing Goa as a world-class international tourism destination,” says Sawant.
He elaborated upon the ‘Swayampurna Goa’ scheme launched in Goa under Prime Minister Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat campaign. “Under the scheme, we are tying to turn every village into a model village. Government officers and teachers, among others, are engaged in reaching out to the people by visiting villages as Swayampurna friends and explaining the benefits of central and state government schemes to the people,” added the chief minister.
On the question of pandemic management in Goa, Dr Sawant said that even the Niti Aayog has appreciated the efforts of the state in this regard. “Goa was ahead of other the states in starting random testing in the fight against Corona. The Home Ministry has put the Sanguem police station in South Goa at the fifth spot in the 10 best police stations of the country. This shows that the policing system in Goa is also moving in the right direction.”
The Chief Minister’s Rozgar Yojana is an initiative for engineering professionals in the state. It involves giving a contract of Rs 10 lakh to the youth who have engineering degrees and a contract of work worth five lakh rupees to those with diplomas. “The government is giving the contracts of the public works department to youth with engineering backgrounds. There is no need for experience. This is an initiative to connect the youth with entrepreneurship.”
Sawant said efforts are also being made to resolve the stalemate arising out of the stalled mining activities in Goa.