Amid challenges, seize opportunities of new economy: VP to Goa

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(Eds: Adds quotes) Panaji, Jan 9 (PTI) Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday addressed a Goa Legislators' Day event where he said tourism and mining are big drivers of the coastal state and it needed to make efforts to ensure challenges on these fronts are met.

He said limited availability of land, mounting ecological concerns and mining reaching saturation levels were obstacles in further industrial development of Goa, adding that it would have to 'look for diversification of its growth engines'.

'It has to seize the opportunities being offered by the new economy in the domains of information technology, bio- technology, start-up entrepreneurship etc. All these require highly skilled manpower and Goa needs to build in quick time,' the vice president told the gathering.

'Goa is the smallest state in terms of area and fourth smallest in terms of population. I am glad to note that the state is a front-runner in the march of development with highest per capita income and best human development index.

Goa is also the most urbanised state with over 62 per cent people living in towns and cities,' he said.

The vice president also spoke about political instability that dogged the state earlier.

'Since the first elections in 1963 after liberation, Goa has had as many as 30 governments in the last 57 years.

Eleven of these 30 governments had tenure of less than one year, ranging from six days to 334 days. Another three governments had tenures of less than two years,' he said.

'Only three governments had a full five year tenure.

The state was placed under President's Rule five times, for a total of 639 days, which is about two years,' he added.

He said while change of governments mid-course for genuine and compelling reasons is democratically sanctioned, frequent changes raises the issue of political stability and the ability of governments to deliver.

He said such changes result in 'negative perceptions', and asked the gathering if the state would have prospered even more if it had greater political stability.

Speaking at the event, Naidu said legislatures are instruments that accord legitimacy to the decisions of the executive and judiciary.

He said the legitimacy of legislatures will come into question of they are dysfunctional and law makers do not enjoy the respect of the people they represent.

'It is the functioning of legislatures and law making bodies that can either make or mar any democracy. Their effective functioning forms the basis of people's trust and confidence in parliamentary institutions.' he said.

'Unfortunately, there is a certain trust deficit with people's perceptions about legislators and legislatures.

This deficit needs to be addressed at the earliest,' he added.

Naidu was addressing the Goa Legislators' Day event at Porvorim near here in the presence of Governor B S Koshyari, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Assembly Speaker Rajesh Patnekar among others. PTI RPS BNM BNM