The Goa Technology Association (GTA) has expressed its concerns about the state government’s plan to revamp the start-up policy, claiming that a lot of thought process has gone into the current one – which was drafted with the then Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar.
“GTA has not been invited yet to be part of the drafting committee and also there has been a buzz regarding revamping the startup policy, which we came to know from the media. While the IT policy is not fully implemented, many startups in the state are yet to be benefitted from the Startup policy. We need to understand the need to revamp the policy. A lot of thought process has gone into drafting the current policy along with the then CM late Sir Manohar Parrikar and we feel the same policy can be continued further,” they said in a press release.
They further stated that they supported the IT park initially, however, they believe now that with the pandemic looming at large, the need of the hour is to speed up the disbursement to IT or startups.
“Instead of approving crores of money to design consultants for the project consultation of the IT park, if even 10% of that amount was to be disbursed to the existing IT or startup companies and to improve the infrastructure and last-mile connectivity in the state, we would have been in a position to create so many jobs and add to the economy of the state,” it said.
GTA President, Mangirish Salelkar made it clear that that the organisation’s agenda isn’t against the government. He said, “Our agenda is not against any decision makers of government. They should not ignore the only IT Association connected with all the IT and startup companies in the state. We expect complete support on the issues faced and raised by us multiple times.”
The association’s president also pointed out that with the Covid-19 pandemic, work from home mode had to be followed, which he acknowledged was a completely new phenomenon for everyone. The members also said that communication and productivity took a hit due to poor last-mile internet connectivity.
A survey on the same was conducted and the results were presented to the Chief Minister and IT minister Jennifer Monserrate in April in hope of some help from the government. However, President Mangirish Salelkar said, “They did promise to get back on it in two to three days, but we haven’t heard from them for last two to three months now, despite several follow-ups.”
He, however, acknowledged the role of the IT Director Ankita Anand who helped in providing passes during Lockdown 1.0 for employees within the IT industry.
GTA, calling its 2019 year ‘wonderful’, said they had plans to make 2020 ‘grand’, however, the pandemic forced several events planned for the year to be cancelled.
Yet another attempt by @DrPramodPSawant govt to tarnish the legacy of Former CM Shri Manohar Parrikar. The IT Policy 2017 was a passion project conceived by Manohar bhai and executed by me under his vision in my role as IT Minister of Goa. https://t.co/nk68w1ej2X
— Rohan Khaunte (@RohanKhaunte) August 3, 2020
“The COVID situation left all of us with a shock. Many of the industries were hit very badly,” Salelkar said. Moving ahead, he urged the government to take the association into confidence while taking policy decisions for the IT sector.
The Association has donated Rs 1,00,000/- towards Chief Ministers Relief Fund in view of the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to laptops and desktops to members to enable them to work from home.