Panaji: The Goa government`s decision to declare a public holiday for the forthcoming zilla panchayat polls has rankled Goa`s businessmen, who claim this would result in "drop in production and loss of business".
In a media statement issued on Friday, RS Kamat, the director general of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), one of the oldest business associations in the state, also said that the legal section under which the public holiday (March 18) has been notified is incorrect.
"The Chamber has repeatedly brought to the notice of the state government vide several representations earlier, that such holidays for local body elections should not be declared so as to avoid loss of production and business," Kamat said.
"GCCI observes that such holidays are being routinely declared without any application of mind to the detriment of the industry. Also such notifications disrupt the harmony between the management and the workforce," the statement further said.
The GCCI has advised "all industries and commercial establishments in the private sector to allow adequate time off to all bonafide electors/voters employed by them to enable them to exercise their voting rights".
Finding loopholes in the manner in which the public holiday notification was issued, Kamat said the section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 (Act 26 of 1881) read with the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs notification dated 28th June 1973, that has been quoted by the government to justify the public holiday was erroneous.
Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act does not empower the government to declare public holidays to industrial and commercial establishments in the private sector, the GCCI official claimed.