Scrapping of the age clause in the Beach Shack Policy may have helped to soothe ruffled feathers amongst the agitated shack owners.
Shack owners, however, say the Beach Shack Policy needs to address a host of issues, including the moot question of how the government expects the newcomers to arrange finance to set up a beach shack and involving the shack owners in the formulation of the policy.
Beach shack policy is still not in the public domain
In fact, President of Goa Shack Owners Society Cruz Cardozo pointed out that the beach shack policy is still not in the public domain, saying the shack owners have not yet been given a copy of the shack policy. While appreciating the Tourism Minister’s gesture to remove the age clause inserted in the Beach Shack Policy, Cruz, however, said the government needs to look into the issues likely to be faced by the newcomers in the shack business.
“The beach shack policy clause says the beach shack is to be allotted to unemployed youth. But, shacks cannot come overnight, and you need huge finance, a minimum of ₹15 lakh to erect a beach shack,” he said, demanding to know how the newcomers in the business will arrange the huge amount of money. Saying the government should come out with a scheme wherein the newcomers as well as the experienced shack owners are provided low-interest finance, he said the government should provide loans to the shack owners through the Economic Development Corporation.
The Beach Shack Policy is for a 3-year-period
That’s not all. “The Beach Shack Policy is for a three-year period. What would happen to the newcomers if they don’t get the shack after three years? What would be the fate of their investment after three years? Will the investment not go to waste, resulting in a loss for the owner,” he questioned. Cruz lamented that the government is yet to give the shack owners a copy of the beach shack policy.
“We have objected to the age clause in the policy, and the government has removed the clause. There may be some other clause which goes against the shack owners. To avoid this confusion, the government should have taken the shack owners into confidence before formulating the policy,” he said. Cruz further pointed out that the beach shacks should have been allotted before September 1 as per the Court directions, but the government is still in the process of unveiling the beach shack policy.
“We do not know why there is a delay in the allotment of the shacks every year. The tourism season kicks starts after the beach shacks start their operations. Despite this, however, the beach shacks are not allotted on time every year,” he lamented.