With India gaining preference over China post- COVID-19, there is a strong prospect of Goa emerging as a logistics hub of India, by pooling the “Make in India” and “Atmanirbhar” campaign.
In line with the government’s vision of making Goa a logistics hub, the Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu in 2018 announced the development of a greenfield airport at Mopa in Pernem taluka, Goa.
The Union government unveiled a cargo policy last year in January, which ensured that along with passenger traffic, the airport is capable of handling cargo and drive the country’s economy.
As per the policy, international cargo comprised of 60 per cent of the total air cargo handled in the country, logging a growth of 15.6 per cent in the previous fiscal, while domestic cargo grew by over 8 per cent, which reflects the skewed modal mix, in which roads account for over 60 per cent of cargo transportation as compared to the global average of around 30 per cent.
To boost the ship-building industry in the state, the government of Goa has taken a proactive step to allot 14,380 square meters of land in Verna Industrial Estate to Konkan Maritime Cluster, which has 49 members. This move will also help generate jobs within the State, which after the Covid-19 lockdown is imminently essential.
Despite the delays in the clearances, this allotment of land to maritime clusters, through Investment Promotion Board (IPB) and Goa State Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), sends a positive signal to the industry as a whole.
The development of inland waterways will turn crucial for the maritime clusters which are not having a good business in India as compared to other countries like, Norway, Japan etc
According to the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), operational cost per tonne per kilometre through inland waterways is Rs 1.06 as compared to Rs 1.41 by rail and Rs 2.28 by road. The total cost of inland navigation, after accounting for accidents, congestion, noise, emissions, air pollution and other environmental impacts, is estimated to be one-seventh of that of road transport.
Further, to turn state into a logistics hub and attain an export-led growth, land requirement will increase among different sectors besides manufacturing, while warehousing will become a major concern.
The government will have to holistically plan the development for the coming 20 years and indicate which lands could be utilised for different sectors manufacturing, technology, tourism, education, entertainment, food and agriculture, logistics, etc.
Apart from this, the government will have to have a design-led strategy and welcome units that have very good capability and capacity to deliver. Keeping in mind the scarce availability of land in the state, a value chain can also be created by using a cluster approach model.
Post the Covid-19 lockdown, India has an opportunity to emerge stronger in the global market. The governments continuous efforts in infrastructure development and setting up of industries can help India, and in particular Goa, to become a hub for export-led mass production.