For the first time in years, GCCI held its Annual General Meeting – Business Session as a separate session on Saturday, 25th June 2016 at the Chamber’s Convention Hall. It was felt that over the years, the Business Session by virtue of being clubbed with the General Session was losing its significance as not much time was available for members to interact with the GCCI office bearers. Hence this year for the 108th AGM a full-fledged business session was organised.
Many of you appreciated the Chamber’s decision to convene this event separately. I am happy that you had adequate time to voice your concerns about various issues being faced by the industry . While I appreciate the members concerns, I must emphasize that the Chamber has always been at the forefront to take up members’ issues and many concerns had been addressed by the government and its various departments due to GCCI’s intervention. The Chamber is an advocate of economic policies in the state, however their implementation by the government is also governed by political considerations which was beyond the Chamber’s purview.
My Managing Committee assures you that the Chamber would continue to take up industry and trade matters strongly with the government. However, I request members for their support in terms of response to GCCI’s mails and more active participation.
The Chamber organised an orientation program on ‘National Career Service’ NCS at Verna. It is interesting to note that the Central Government is taking positive steps to drive employment in the country. The Employment Exchanges are slowly being phased out and the NCS is being implemented through the Model Career Centres- one in each state . In Goa, Panaji has been selected as the Model Career Centre. From being a mere employment provider that the employment exchanges are looked at, the change in name national CAREER service is worth noting. From what I have been given to understand is that the thrust will be on not only increasing private sector participation but also bring in transparency and online access to vacancies as well as candidate profiles. It will also provide a connect to other placement portals and help a jobseeker/ employee to chart out his career path. The idea is marvelous, how well it gets implemented has to be seen. As industry and trade, I would urge all employers to register themselves on NCS.
Since October 2015, there have been regular shipments of fresh vegetables from Goa to the Middle East. However a circular issued by the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage, Ministry of Agriculture, mandates a Phytosanitary certificate (PSC) with each export consignment of fruits/ vegetables etc. This PSC requires a pesticide residue free certificate issued by an APEDA recognized laboratory. Since there is no APEDA approved laboratory or packing house in Goa, there is a danger of the entire business shifting out of Goa. GCCI has therefore requested the state government’s intervention in setting up an APEDA approved lab for Goa which could cater to the entire Konkan region.
The Chamber also compliments the Chief Minister, Shri Parsekar on commissioning of the first ultra-modern garbage treatment plant at Saligao. GCCI has always been requesting the government for a better infrastructure in the state and the garbage treatment facility was one such important need. With the commissioning of this plant the majority of garbage in North Goa will be taken care of. We have requested the Government to begin work on a similar garbage treatment facility in South Goa and also facilitate creation of the Industrial Waste Management facility.
With work on the third Mandovi Bridge already started, bridge over Zuari is already in planning stages, four laning and six laning of most of the highways already under progress, work on international airport atMopa being underway most of the major infrastructural requirements of the State are being met. This has helped in improving the investment scenario in the State as can be seen from the number of investment proposals received and cleared by the Investment Promotion Board. The IPB has so far cleared about 98 project proposals with investment worth about Rs. 8,200 crores and with a potential to create over 14,000 jobs. What is important to note is that in the last few months there has been a big spurt in large expansion projects of existing companies in Goa which is a very good sign of business stability in the State.
We hope that this trend will continue and Goa will once again emerge as one of the most aspirational investment destinations in the country.
(President – GCCI)