Goa State Industries Association’s AGM saw a resolution passed authorising legal recourse against industry related institutions, to protect the interest of its members
Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) held its Annual General Meeting recently, at Panjim Convention Centre. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the AGM was held physically as well as on Zoom platform. The physical presence at the AGM was restricted to maximum 100 persons following all Covid protocol.
Preceding the AGM, the newly elected members of the Executive Committee met and unanimously elected Damodar Kochkar as the President of GSIA for a second term, for 2021-2023. All the members praised Kochkar for the selfless work done by him during his tenure in 2019-2021 in the interest of the industries in Goa. Kochkar has been a very active member on some Boards and various committees of the Government of Goa. He has been recently conferred with the ‘Business Leadership Award’ by Business Goa magazine.
GSIA’s AGM was attended by heads of various industry bodies such as GCCI, CII, Presidents of Industrial Estate Associations and other prominent industrialists from the State.
The deliberations at the meeting showed that the industries are agitated mainly with the working of Goa-IDC and Factories and Boilers for their insensitive attitude towards the problems faced by the industries in Goa.
Many industries complained that Goa-IDC has failed as a regulatory body for the development of industries in Goa; and that there is unreasonable delay in approvals, forcing entrepreneurs to make several trips to Goa-IDC office to seek approvals and other administrative work.
To add to the woes of the industries, Goa-IDC, in the last Board Meeting held in July, moved an Agenda item to increase the lease rent of the industrial units, which was strongly opposed by GSIA. When the Central Government, Central Agencies and other State Governments are coming out with schemes and measures to support the MSMEs during this difficult period of Covid-19 pandemic, Goa-IDC has shown that it is insensitive to the plight of the industries.
It was discussed at the meeting that the Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers is another department, which is fleecing industries with their exorbitant fees. Instead of supporting industries during this critical period of the pandemic, they have recently notified annual fees with an increase of 21% to 36%. Several complaints have been received from industries that Factories and Boilers is asking for various audits such as ventilation audit, illumination audit, health audit etc., where the consultants on the panel, who are from outside the State, charge exorbitant fees of around 1.5 to 2 lakhs while the audit work takes hardly 3 to 4 hours.
As Goa-IDC and Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers, Government, of Goa, have failed to adhere to the scope and objective laid down under the relevant legislations; and have defeated the spirit of the said enactments, as well as brought down the morale of the industry and its members in doing business in Goa; the following resolution was passed at the AGM authorizing the Executive Committee to take legal recourse as required and as available under the law.
“Resolved that the Executive Committee be empowered, subject to the bye-laws of the Association, in taking the following steps to redress the grievances and to protect the interests of the members of the Goa State Industries Association against the malpractices and anti-industry actions of the Goa Industrial Development Corporation, Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers, Government of Goa and any other institution related to the industries:
- Take all such legal recourse as required and that are available with the Association under law in order to ensure transparency, fair play and ease of doing business in Goa;
- Take such remedial measures including but not limiting filing plaints/suits/petitions before the regulatory and judicial forums to curb the irregularities and malpractices in the various institutions related to industrial sector and to bring about rationalisation and professional working thereat;
- Incur such expenditure required for formalising such legal actions; and
- Take any other steps, ancillary or otherwise purporting the intended actions to bring remedial measures in the interest of the members of this Association;
- Authorize the Office Bearers of the Association to do all such acts and deeds as may be required to give effect to the aforesaid Resolution.”