The proposed Khadi Plaza in Goa will not benefit Goan village industries or artisans in any way, conceded Khadi and Village Industries Commission’s Manager Ram Narayan who is looking after Goa.
Speaking to Goa Chronicle.com at the Khadi and Village Industries exhibition currently underway at Ravindra Bhawan Margao, he said that Goan village industries do not need marketing help as they have a ready market and further pointed out that no handicraft has been identified in the State that can be truly promoted nationally.
While disclosing that during the last financial year, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission sanctioned projects worth around Rs 3 crores in Goa, most of them were either for cashew processing, purchasing centering plates or purchasing computers.
“Processed cashew nuts do not need any marketing help as there is a ready market for it and centering plates and computers cannot be displayed at an exhibition,” he said.
To prove him correct, there are only three Goan stalls amongst the 47 stalls at the exhibition at Ravindra Bhawan. While one stall is selling jute products like bags, wall hangings etc., the second one is also selling bags and other knick-knacks made from cotton and other fabric.
The only interesting stall from Goa is the one selling curios made from basalt stone with various images of Jesus Christ, Crucifix, Lord Ganesh, Lord Krishna etc. that is catching everybody’s eye. In fact, Mr. Narayan admitted that these items could be promoted in a big way nationally as they are not only attractive but rightly packaged too.
Khadi products though having its own niche clientele in Goa, has not really become very popular admitted Mr. Narayan. The total turnover from the two outlets the Khadi and Village Industries Commission has at Panjim and Margao, on an average is Rs 30 lakhs with last year being an exception where the turnover was Rs 38 lakhs.
He opined that the influence of western culture in Goa could be one of the factors why Khadi products are not that popular in the State.
Given these factors that Khadi products are not very popular and the Goan village industries do not need marketing facilities, Mr. Narayan admitted that the Khadi Plaza would not really help Goans.
“However, it can be a window for village artisans from other states whose products could be showcased for the benefit of the lakhs of tourists visiting Goa,” he said.
In fact, the craving of every Central institute to own land in Goa has been objected to in recent times particularly since the Central government agencies are perceived as not really helping Goa whenever it is required. Central government agencies have in their possession as much as 67,62,717 square metres of land in Goa and 8.2 per cent of the land in Mormugao talukas belongs to Central government agencies.
The Indian Armed Forces comprising of the Navy, Army and Air Force have a total 36, 21,877 square metres of Goan land in their possession apart from the Anjediv island that was gifted by the Government of Goa to it for its Sea Bird project at Karwar.
The Mormugao Port Trust that had only 6,84,706 square metres of land in its possession prior to 1964, today has 13,74,757 square metres of land and the Goa Shipyard Limited which has 1,56,00 square metres of land in its possession including 14,480 square metres for which Lease Deed has not even been signed and still wants more land.
The other central government agencies owning land in Goa are Oil and Natural Gas Corporation – 10,15,000 square metres; National Institute of Oceanography – 75,295 square metres, National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research – 1,47,660 square metres, Indian Council of Agricultural Research – 3,57,128 square metres and Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology – 15,000 square metres.
Panaji, Feb 21 (PTI) Goa Tourism department has claimed that there was increase by 17 per cent in the foreign tourist arrival and 3.5 per cent in the domestic arrivals for the calendar year 2010 compared to a year before.