SYBIL RODRIGUES, Chief Reporter of Business Goa speaks to Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, Chairman of Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), on the various issues affecting the corporation and plans for his tenure
You have been the GIDC Chairman for over a year now. How do you measure your performance and what changes have you brought about in GIDC during your term?
I would not like to assess my own performance and I feel like someone else has to do it for me. When I took over as chairman, I took the role very seriously. I informed everyone that I was not here to pass my time and I mean business. I felt that if I couldn’t perform, I should quit. This is the philosophy that I had in my mind when I took over.
At first, some of the employees here resisted the changes that I made. They kept making statements like, “This man will be here for some time and then leave, but we will always be here.” This was the attitude of some of the workers here. It took me around 6 months to change their attitude towards the functioning under my leadership and I managed to take them into confidence. I promised to settle their issues as long as they allowed me to perform my role as chairman.
Secondly, there was a bank liability of almost Rs. 80 crores. The first thing I did was to see that the liability was cleared by paying off the debts of IDC. I took the longer route of clearing off these debts and managed to strengthen our financial position. After this, I decided to concentrate on creating infrastructure. I met various industry associations and started IDC Connect in order to improve roads, solve power and water issues at industrial estates, in the hope that by next December, most of the infrastructural issues would be tackled. We also want to concentrate on MSMEs and we could have plug and play centres wherein people can just come in and start their work. After I get all the infrastructural issues sorted I would like to take up labour issues. I still need labour to co-operate with us. I believe that results are very important. I am not here to waste my time but I will take everyone into confidence including our chief minister, industries minister and every other person connected to IDC. I believe in calling a spade a spade and I want to make sure to deliver the best. I have been given an opportunity to make changes here and I do hope to succeed in getting everything done.
GIDC has been suffering with an image as a corporation of mismanagement based on performance of the yesteryears. It should have been the richest corporation as it is the land bank of the Government. But it is seen as a loss making venture. Your comments on the same.
In my tenure I don’t want GIDC to be a loss making venture. I will see that it is running well and making a profit. That in fact is a challenge and I have identified the challenge. We have posted profits in the last couple of months and I will make sure that we will post more profits. We have a lot of issues regarding this aspect. For example the Electricity Department takes land from us and do not pay us. Plus there are so many cables to be laid, as well as digging work done by the PWD, for which there are charges and we have not been paid these charges. If we are paid on time, we can pay dividends to the government, as long as we are paid. We will succeed in turning the corporation around and begin to make profits soon.
The industry has been requesting for a professional management in GIDC. There have been over ten managing directors changed in the last two years. Some of them lasting for a week. What have you been doing to prevent this?
It is really easy for everyone to talk regarding this matter. I do not want to go into the details of this. The corporation is doing all the necessary work in this regard. I require everyone to run this department, the Chief Minister, the Managing Director and we will show results soon. Regarding professional management, we have a professional team coming in through Invest India. We are pro-active and taking in suggestions from the industry. It does not matter how many managing directors we have changed, what matters is the result. In the last six months I have brought about changes which were not seen in the last five years. Irrespective of all the criticism I will go ahead and do what needs to be done. We are identifying all problems and taking them head on. Every problem does have a solution and I intend to see that all of them are sorted.
There are complaints that files get stuck at every step in GIDC and it is a nightmare to get your transactions through. What is being done to make things less complicated or what corrective action is being taken in this regard?
I challenge all those who are making such statements to show which files have been stuck. I have cleared files that have been pending for years and small issues that needed to be sorted have been done so. We have simplified many procedures and going digital with a lot of transactions. If they still have an issue after all this I think something is wrong with them.
How do you see the financial health of GIDC currently and in the next 3 years?
We are in the process of revamping the offices and will be investing on infrastructure. It will take time to show profits given that there will be expenditure. We will be spending money judiciously by getting the PWD to estimate the cost of works. Most of the offices here are shabby and there are a lot of complaints from people. We are also spending money to get more professionals to work for us as well as introduce more online services. Good things cost and we are spending money at various industrial estates to improve things for the industries there. After all, the spending we will be able to show profits. In the next two years, there will be expenditure and in the financial year after that we will be in a position to show profits. In order for us to recover what we have spent we will need to make changes in rates and hopefully in three years time we will be able to strike a balance.
We have a new MSME park coming up and have marked 50,000 sq metres in Verna. We plan on starting plug and play soon, where any entity which wants to manufacture will get a small area with premises and necessary connections required to start a unit
With the exception of a few industrial estates, there are issues of roads, power, waste, sanitation in other industrial estates and they feel neglected. What action is being taken in this regard especially with IDC Connect?
IDC Connect has been established to tackle all the above issues. We have various officers from the corporation going to the site and assessing the problems faced by various industrial estates. I feel that we are able to hear the issues of the people. But one has to remember that listening is one aspect and taking action is another. We do not only listen to people about problems faced, we also take necessary steps to execute work to tackle such issues. To a large extent we have sorted at least 50% of the problems and by the end of the year we will sort around 70% of such problems. Now we also have our issues and we are planning to come up with a one-time settlement, where we want industries to cooperate and pay us our charges. I have requested the government to be more generous with our industries so that they can be more efficient and productive. If industries fail to deliver even after such changes then we will take back our land. I have to take tough measures in order to deliver whatever I have promised.
What future initiatives have been planned by you for GIDC?
We have a lot of new proposals in the pipeline especially for MSMEs. We have a new MSME park coming up and have marked 50,000 sq metres in Verna. We plan on starting plug and play soon, where any entity which wants to manufacture will get a small area with premises and necessary connections required to start a unit. All they have to do is come and start operating. Even startups can be accommodated here. Hopefully, if we can do all this I will consider it a big achievement for us. Secondly, we plan on taking over new areas for development. If we are able to do all this we should be in an excellent position in the next three years.
Goa-IDC and Invest India collaborate to enhance Goan business environment
Goa-IDC partners with Invest India for implementation of key industry related reforms
As India marches towards progress, the government has been relentless in its pursuit of making it easier for businesses to thrive in the country. In the recent past, Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has initiated certain key reforms like revision of the legal framework, creating a new digital portal, survey of industrial land banks, setting up of Micro Small Medium Manufacturing Enterprises (MSME) incubation parks etc. In this regard, GIDC has collaborated with Invest India which is a National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India for accelerated implementation of the planned reforms.
Invest India is a non-commercial organisation under the aegis of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is currently working with 16 central government ministries/agencies with focus on investment facilitation; project monitoring, National Single Window System (NSWS), India Industrial Land Bank etc.
Mauvin Godinho, Minister for Transport, Industries, Panchayat Raj & Protocol has emphasised that GIDC and Invest India team give priority to setting up of MSME Incubation Park in Verna Industrial Estate and create solid waste management facilities in industrial estates.
“There is a great potential for synergy between GIDC and Invest India to implement industry related reforms pertaining to GIDC for enhancing Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in Goa. We have already started working on several fronts and I am sure the State Desk will boost the capacity of GIDC to deliver on such reforms,” said P. Pravimal Abhishek IAS, Managing Director, Goa Industrial Development.
Given the industry-focus of Invest India and the wide range of experience, it is expected that the dedicated desk for GIDC will help in implementing various on-going projects taken up by the corporation. The desk will have at least three dedicated resources deployed with GIDC who will provide inputs for various policy interventions and projects.
“Invest India is looking forward to the collaboration with GIDC to increase the ease of doing business in the state through policy reforms and provide end-to-end support to GIDC in making Goa one of the most investor friendly destinations in India,” said Priya Rawat, COO, Invest India.
As for the collaboration between GIDC and Invest India, the goal is to create a more conducive business environment in the state. A delegation of Invest India from Delhi visited Goa and presented to the Board of Directors, the details of the State Desk and various ongoing projects jointly being pursued by GIDC and Invest India.