Industry foresees lockdown extension




Indicating that it is reconciled to an extension in the coronavirus ordered lockdown, Goan industry on Tuesday indicated that it expects the government to make up for the economic fallout of it.

Sudin Naik, owner of Shaun Filaments, Verna, said that with neighbouring states clamoring for an extension it is likely that the Goa government would also agree to the same.

“If the coronavirus curve has to flatten and if bigger states are demanding it there looks no option for Goa since the state is totally reliant on outside markets. However, the meter is ticking away for small units. Most local units run on bank finance and they need help to pay off the interest and other statutory payments,” claimed Naik.

He said that the state government in collaboration with the Centre would have to draw up a plan to ensure small units survive during the extended lockdown period.

Former president of Goa Small Industries Association Raj Kumar Kamat claimed that extension in the lockdown would have financial repercussions. He said that health remains the top-most priority and as an employer he favours increasing the period of the lockdown.

“To offset the financial hit, we are looking to the government for support. Units are incurring fixed overheads on salaries, interest on loans, fixed electricity costs, rentals and need to be compensated on the fixed costs. We will contribute our share but the government must also chip in,” said Kamat.

Manoj Caculo, president, GCCI, expressed a pragmatic opinion on the likelihood of lockdown extension. He said that the lockdown cannot be lifted in totality as it would result in chaos and take away from whatever good work that was done.

The GCCI president suggested extension in lockdown in coronavirus hotspots. “Wherever there are hotspots the lockdown can be extended in those places. In other places it should be lifted gradually,” said the GCCI president.