The 113th AGM of the Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry was held on 26th June 2021 at 11.00 a.m. at the SurendrababuTimblo Hall, Narayan RajaramBandekarBhavan, Panaji, Goa.
The Meeting was chaired by President Mr. ManojCaculo. He was accompanied on the dais by President -Elect Mr. Ralph D’Souza, Vice President MsPratimaDhond, Hon. Secretary Mr. YatinKakodkar, Hon. Treasurer Mr. ChandrakantGawas and Immediate Past President Mr. SandipBhandare.
Welcoming the members at the Business Session, the GCCI President MrManojCaculosaid that given the restrictions necessitated by the ongoing pandemic, GCCI had to restrict physical participation and had encouraged members to participate through the virtual mode. He said that when he had addressed his first AGM as President in June 2020, he had expressed a hope that the pandemic would subside soon. However, it seemed to have worsened to of one of the worst health emergencies in the history of mankind. He said that along with the impact on the economy and businesses, what had really pained him was the devastating effect of this pandemic on mental health.
MrCaculo said that he wished to compliment the resilience of Goa’s business community, who even in this grave situation, had geared up and revised their business models and adapted their businesses to face the exceptional economic challenge through quick adaptation and innovation. Collaboration was key and the Chamber used it effectively to partner with other industry associations to provide a singular force to relentlessly highlight industry issues.
Severalbright minds from the industry including GCCI Hon. Secretary,MrYatinKakodkar presented a detailed report to the government on kickstarting industry revival as members of the Government’s Economic Revival Committee. However, more than a year later, there was hardly any progress by the government on implementing the Committee’s suggestions.MrManojCaculo also expressed the industry’s opposition, apprehensions and disappointment about the amendments in the Industrial Disputes Act, Goa Factory Rules, charging all levies in full to all establishments by the municipalities and Panchayats during such a major crisis. MrCaculo also expressed concern about the downward slide in Goa’s ranking on Ease of Doing Business (EODB). He however, thanked the Hon’ble CM, DrPramodSawant who he said always gave a patient hearing to GCCI and tried to understand industry pain points.
President Caculo concluded his speech by saying that his tenure coincided with the most challenging times for the State but he had tried his best to provide an effective leadership to the Chamberand that it had been a memorable journey for him as President of GCCI.
President Elect, Mr Ralph De Souza then delivered his acceptance speech. He said that the trust entrused in him by the members would be his greatest asset in meeting the challenges ahead. He candidly accepted that he was convinced that hard times still lay ahead and that the effects of the pandemic would be long lasting. A conducive policy and a responsive administrative framework would have to be set-up to attract fresh investments which would help in creation of good employment opportunities and revenue generation in the State. He said thatat this juncture it was important that the Chamber assumed its leadership role in bringing back on track the State economy and stand by the Government in providing succour to those who had been affected. Mr Ralph De Souza congratulated Mr. ManojCaculofor providing exceptional leadership to the Chamber, when it needed the most.
MrYatinKakodkar, Hon. Secretary proposing the vote of thanks said that GCCI has unflinchingly fulfilled its duties to the business community of Goa . He thanked the Chief Minister and his council of ministers for engaging with GCCI from time to time and delivering solutions whenever possible. MrKakodkar thanked the media for highlighting the pivotal work done by the Chamber during the pandemic.