GSIA urges industrial estate associations to set up care centres to fight COVID




Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) president Damodar Kochkar, on Saturday, appealed to the industrial estate associations in Goa to emulate the example of Verna Industries Association (VIA) in setting up COVID19 care centres and testing facilities to fight COVID 19 pandemic.

Kochkar was speaking during the annual general body meeting of   the GSIA held in virtual mode.

The GSIA president advised the entrepreneurs to learn to live with COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that industries must ensure that all the guidelines of the government and the SOP circulated by GSIA should be meticulously followed.

He warned that any concealment of positive cases will adversely affect the other workers, their families and will also affect industrial activity in the state.

He said, “A 100 bed hospice has been set up by Verna industrial estate with generous contribution made by some of the industries and assistance from Verna Industries Association (VIA). A swab collection centre has also been set up and a RT-PCR COVID-19 testing machine has been sponsored to State District Hospital at Margao, considering that the government is also under pressure.”

He appealed to other industrial estate associations in Goa to emulate the example set by the Verna industries.

This was the first time a virtual AGM was held by the GSIA.

At the commencement of the meeting, GSIA vice president Gautam Verlekar informed the members of the modalities of the virtual meeting, which was largely attended.

GSIA secretary Sameer Keny presented the annual report on the activities of GSIA. Various initiatives taken by the GSIA at the government level, especially, at Goa-IDC were informed to the members.

He said that under the dynamic leadership of Kochkar, GSIA has become a very vibrant body. He informed of the various meetings held by GSIA with Goa-IDC and Goa Electronics Ltd, to get started some of the online services by Goa-IDC.

He also told that GSIA has put forth various demands before the government for revival of the industry.

During the question and answer session, some members said that despite the fact that the economy of the state now largely depends on industrial sector, the government is giving scant attention to the industries.

Many members voiced concern over the Industrial Disputes (Goa Amendment) Bill 2020 in spite of the joint representation by GSIA, GCCI and CII.

“The amendment to Section 25F of the Act, which enhances the payment of compensation to workers from present 15 days of wages to 45 days of wages, will destroy MSME sector in Goa,” they said.

The GSIA president while replying to a query said that “in spite of all our efforts, the government did not pay heed to our request. The enhancement of compensation under Industrial Disputes Act will be counter-productive to state’s plan to attract investment.”

“It will deter investors from setting up industrial units in Goa. Why should an investor invest in Goa when the industrial law is much better in other states? This is the question which will worry many of the industrial units who had planned expansion of their facilities in Goa,” he added.