Lockdown: Industries hit; unemployment may rise in Goa

Panaji: Unemployment may be a majorfallout of the COVID-19 lockdown in Goa, as industries in the state have been severely hit and economic activity has come to a standstill.Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Wednesday informed Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that the industries will witness a slump, if the state government failed to intervene.

While the mining industry has been shut since 2018, the future of the tourism sector also seems uncertain in light of the pandemic.”The industries and the government have to sit together to work out a solution. The state government should help the industrial sector recover from the current crisis,” GCCI president Manoj Caculo said.

The Chief Minister had recently directed private industries to pay full month’s salary to its employees, during the lockdown period.The dikdat was completely against the interest of industries, who were ready to pay half of the salary and retain the staff, Caculo said.’Some industries will have to resort to lay-offs, if they are asked to pay full month’s salaries,” he said.

Former Revenue Minister Rohan Khaunte said the Chief Minister should take all political parties and industrialists into confidence and map out economic revival in the state.”We will head for worst days, if the government fails to revive the economy. It should be a team effort and no individual can do it on his own,” Khaunte said.The unemployment rate in the state will rise rapidly and the government will have no solution for it, he said.

Meanwhile, labour unions in the state have been keeping a close watch on the situation.If the lockdown is withdrawn on April 14 and the government allows industries to resume operations in phases, unemployment can be prevented, said Suhas Naik, secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said.

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