Goa - Economy

Economy

Gross State Domestic Product (in millions of Rupees)
Year GSDP
1980 3,980
1985 6,550
1990 12,570
1995 33,190
2000 76,980

Goa's gross state domestic product for 2007 is estimated at $3 billion in current prices. Goa is one of India's richest states with the highest GDP per capita — two and a half times that of the country as a whole — and one of its fastest growth rates: 8.23% (yearly average 1990–2000). Tourism is Goa's primary industry: it handles 12% of all foreign tourist arrivals in India. Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In the winter time, tourists from abroad (mainly Europe) come to Goa to enjoy the climate. In the summer time (which, in Goa, is the rainy season), tourists from across India come to spend the holidays.

The land away from the coast is rich in minerals and ores and mining forms the second largest industry. Mining in Goa focuses on ores of iron, Bauxite, manganese, clays, limestone and silica. The Marmagao Port handled 31.69 million tonnes of cargo last year, and accounts for over 39% of India's Iron Ore exports. The leaders in the Goan Iron Ore industry include Sesa Goa (now owned by Vedanta Resources) and Dempo. Rampant mining in areas rich in Iron Ore and other minerals is now threatening the forest cover as well as posing a health hazard to the local population. Mining corporations are also indulging in illegal mining in some areas without proper permits. Agriculture, while of shrinking importance to the economy over the past four decades, offers part-time employment to a sizeable portion of the populace. Rice is the main agricultural crop, followed by areca, cashew and coconut. The fishing industry provides employment for about forty thousand people, though recent official figures indicate a decline of the importance of this sector and also a fall in catch, perhaps coupled with the fact that traditional fishing has given way to large-scale mechanised trawling.

Medium scale industries include the manufacturing of pesticides, fertilisers, tyres, tubes, footwear, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, wheat products, steel rolling, fruits and fish canning, cashew nuts, textiles, brewery products.

The Goa government has recently decided to not allow any more special economic zones (SEZs) in Goa. This is in stark contrast to policy followed by other states of India. SEZs are known to bring tax revenues for the government and employment option for local citizens since industries flock there for lower tax rates as compared to other areas. Currently there are 16 planned SEZs in Goa. This decision was taken by state government after strong opposition to SEZs by political parties and Goa Catholic Church.

Goa is also notable for its low beer, wine and spirits prices due to its very low excise duty on alcohol. Another source of cash inflow into the state comes from many of its citizens who work abroad and remit money to their families.

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