In the era of digitisation, the Government of Goa has also taken up various initiatives to make things easier for its citizens. Earlier, citizens had to queue up to deposit fee. But now everything is online, says Padma Jaiswal, Secretary, Department of Cooperation, NRI Affairs, Official Language, Labour and Employment, and Public Grievance, Government of Goa, in conversation with Poulami Chakraborty of Elets News Network (ENN).
Give us an overview of Goa’s Cooperative department. Apart from banks in which other sector, the cooperative industry is flourishing?
The real cooperative movement started with Maharashtra Cooperative Act, 1962 that was applicable to Goa as well. Goa got its own Cooperative Act in 2001. It is one of the States where cooperative movement has taken a momentum and empowered people. Apart from banks, housing sector is also flourishing in Goa. These Cooperatives are providing housing at very reasonable rates. Along with this, we have convenience stores which are dependent on horticulture. Agro farming cooperatives are doing well. Fishing cooperatives have empowered fishermen in the remote areas of Goa especially South Goa. Digital transactions ensure effective utilisation of resources by farmers, milkmen and Self Help Groups as indicated in one of the studies.
Goa has been a tourist destination, has it helped in the growth of housing cooperatives?
With the help of tourism, housing sector has also gained momentum. People coming from foreign shores can get houses at very reasonable rates. This way they will be able to enjoy the art and culture of Goa in a much better way.
“Our State is currently focussing on Jan- dhan accounts. We are integrating all the three components i.e bank account, Aadhaar and mobile number so that people can easily do online transactions.”
Is Goa also witnessing an online payment revolution?
Goa is small State with a high literate population. There are more bank accounts in Goa than people. Our State is currently focussing on Jandhan accounts. We are integrating all the three components i.e bank account, Aadhaar and mobile number so that people can do online transactions easily.
What are the digital initiatives started by the Goa Government?
In the era of digitisation, the Government of Goa has also taken up various initiatives to make things easier for its citizens. Earlier, citizens have to queue up to deposit fee, but now everything is online.
To make things more simplified, we are using Aadhaar based app. We have started the online process of license renewal. As far as cooperative banks are concerned, they are closer to people than any commercial bank.
What are the challenges you are facing in the digitisation of Goa?
People of Goa are themselves very active in online transactions and payments. Challenge lies in making the migrant labourers digitally literate. There are many mobile apps for there benefit. The stakeholders should take initiatives to make these mobile applications more user friendly.