Amid a slowdown in the state economy on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, Confederation of Indian Industries (Goa) president Manoj Caculo, on Thursday, said people should venture out by taking safety precautions and patronize businesses to prevent job losses.
Speaking to reporters, after meeting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant with a delegation of CII and other trade bodies, Caculo also said that health is of little consequence if households have no income due to job losses and the economic slowdown.
“People are coming out. People coming to Goa, staying in hotels. Restaurants have started… I think it is important that people should also try and come out to help the economy. Because if you do not go out and eat in a restaurant, somebody’s job is not safe,” Caculo told reporters at the state secretariat.
“So we have to take care of our jobs. Otherwise, restaurants will close, businesses will close and people will lose their jobs. By taking care of your health, venture out, take care of the lives and livelihoods of everyone in Goa,” Caculo also said.
“Health is important. But the economy has to run because if there is no economy, there is no income for households, (then) what is the use of your health? Taking proper care of health, all these activities have to start,” he also said.
The delegation had met Sawant to discuss ways and means to improve the ‘ease of business’ in the coastal state, which has slipped down from 19 to 24 in the recent ranking announced by the Central government.
Caculo also said that the delegation had demanded that the businesses and traders should not be burdened with more taxes, like the recent demands made by the municipalities in the state, which have sought full payment of trade license fees and other municipal taxes, at a time when most businesses were shut on account of the pandemic.
“Municipalities are demanding full year’s charges for sanitation tax, house tax, trade licenses, etc. Besides, we have also sought relief from the municipal taxes, excise taxes, and a rebate on excise for bar licenses. Bars were closed for the most part of the year,” Caculo also said.
The number of total COVID-19 positive cases has reached 39,438 in the state, with the number of active cases being 4,188. A total of 519 persons have died due to Covid-19 infections in the state so far. (IANS)