Panaji: The state government’s move to encourage the use of private land for industrial use has raised a few eyebrows within the private sector, with questions being raised about regulation of such private industrial zones. Industry stakeholders pointed out that the Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation of Single Window Clearance Act, 2021, already has provisions for private land to be used for industrial purposes. With chief minister Pramod Sawant and industries minister Mauvin Godinho promising amendments and reforms in the coming assembly session, most industry players said that they will watch for further cues from the government. While officials with the directorate of industries, trade and commerce said that the proposal is still in the nascent stage, stakeholders confirm that if the proposal does go ahead, a Goan family-run group with vast tracts of land could stand to benefit. “The government feels that there should be a mechanism to inform investors about the availability of private land which can be utilised for industrial or manufacturing purposes and the process must be made easy to obtain approvals. For this a land bank of private land has to be created,” said a government source. Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) president Damodar Kochkar said that the Goa Investment Promotion Board already has the power to declare private land as an investment promotion area. “There is an existing provision in the IPB Act for private land to be declared as an investment promotion area and used for business. We must see how the government proceeds as this has to be well thought out,” Kochkar said. He wondered about the consequences if a unit setup on private land violates pollution and other norms. Section 42 of the Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation of Single Window Clearance Act permits the Investment Promotion Board to recommend that private land be notified as an investment promotion area where local governing bodies will not have jurisdiction. Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and GSIA said the chief minister and industries minister have not shared details about the move to encourage private industrial estates though Sawant did make a passing mention during a recent meeting with GCCI’s management. Officials from the directorate of industries, trade and commerce also downplayed the announcement.
Polls not possible in monsoon: CMPanaji: Proposing to conduct the forthcoming panchayat elections after the monsoon, the government has decided to bring 186 village panchayats in Goa under administrators after their tenure ends in June 2022.Stating that there is no possibility of holding the panchayat elections in the state during the next three months due to the rainy season, the Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant on Wednesday stated that the government has already sent a related file to the State Election Commission. “However, the final decision as regards holding these elections is to be taken by the Commission,” he noted.Speaking further, the Chief Minister said the OBC Commission also needs to send a report to the State Election Commission as regards the triple test followed for ward reservation for the panchayat elections.Altogether 186 village panchayats out of the total 190 panchayats in Goa are due for polls. The tenure of these panchayats ends on June 19, 2022.Meanwhile, highly placed sources informed that the State Election Commission is yet to receive any file from the government as regards the panchayat polls.“Once the Commission receives the file, it will study the comments of the government and act as per the Supreme Court guidelines,” the sources added.Furthermore, sources claimed that although the government has written to the OBC Commission about preparation of OBC data by adopting triple test, the Commission, as per its official, has not received this communication.It may be noted that the Chief Minister had recently said that his government will recommend to the State Election Commission to defer the elections to the 186 village panchayats.
Lucknow/New Delhi: Announcing that he had resigned from the party on May 16, long-time Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Wednesday filed his nomination from the Rajya Sabha as a Samajwadi Party-backed Independent candidate from Uttar Pradesh.Sibal, whose exit is another jolt to the electorally-battered Congress that has seen a spate of high-profile resignations, said he dreams of bringing all the Opposition parties together in the fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024. Refusing to speak against the Congress, a party he has been with for three decades, he said he bears it no ill-will and is not far from the party and its ideology.The former Union Minister went to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly premises to file his papers with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav by his side.A prominent member of the ‘G23’ grouping of leaders, which had sought an organisational overhaul in the Congress, Sibal’s tenure as the party’s Rajya Sabha MP ends on July 4.“I have filed the nomination as an Independent candidate. I thank Akhileshji for supporting me,” Sibal told reporters in Lucknow.“I resigned from the Congress on May 16 and am no longer a Congress leader,” he said, refusing to be drawn into criticism of the party.“I had a deep relationship with the Congress. It was for 30-31 years. This is not a small thing. I joined the Congress because of Rajivji (former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi). You must be thinking, how one can go from the Congress after 31 years. There must be something… Sometimes such decisions are to be taken,” he said and added that his ideology continues to be related with the Congress.His effort and his dream would be to see that all the Opposition parties come together on a common platform to fight the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, the lawyer-politician said. “We want to make a coalition and oppose the Modi government. We want to create an atmosphere in which we can oppose the BJP. I will personally work towards that,” he said.Discussing the SP’s support to Sibal, Akhilesh Yadav described him as a senior leader and a well-known lawyer. “He had been in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and put his point across well everywhere. I hope he will put his views on big questions of unemployment and inflation, insecure borders and China…,” he said.The Congress sought to put forward a brave face following the dramatic announcement of its leader, who has been vocal in his criticism of the Congress leadership and had called for a non-Gandhi as the new party chief.In Kochi, AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal said “the space of the Congress is very broad”. Responding to a query, he said eight former MLAs had joined the party in Haryana two days ago but such developments were not getting prominence. He refused to comment on what the implications of this could be.A senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity that it is important for internal democracy to show a “mirror to the leadership” and noted that such voices are diminishing.Sibal expressed the hope that the Congress rejuvenates. “I have no ill-will,” he said. “We are all constrained by the fact that we are members of parties and have to abide by the discipline of that party but it is important to have an independent voice. When the voice of an independent is raised, people will feel that he is not associated with any other party,” he said after filing his papers.Asked whether his ideology will now be that of the Samajwadi Party, Sibal said, “I am with all inclusive ideologies. Be it of the SP, RLD, Mamataji (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) or Stalin (Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin).”Sibal’s resignation comes after Sunil Jakhar and Hardik Patel resigned from the Congress in quick succession, which recently held a ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur. Among the others who have parted ways with the party are Jitin Prasada, R.P.N. Singh, Amarinder Singh and Ashwani Kumar.Taking a dig at his former party colleague, Prasada, who is now a BJP Minister in Uttar Pradesh, said, “How’s the ‘Prasad’ Mr. Sibal! #Rajyasabha.”Prasada was a member of the G23 when he quit the party and joined the BJP months before the U.P. Assembly elections. Sibal at the time had said, “Jitin Prasada joins BJP. The question is will he get ‘prasada’ from BJP or is he just a ‘catch’ for U.P. elections? In such deals if ‘ideology’ doesn’t matter changeover is easy.”Elections for 11 Rajya Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh are underway and the SP is likely to get two more seats; the remaining will be bagged by the ruling BJP.There had been speculation that the SP could field Sibal as a Rajya Sabha candidate. He was the lawyer, who secured senior SP leader Azam Khan’s bail.Khan had been in Sitapur jail for over 27 months in various cases lodged against him in Rampur. His supporters said he wanted Sibal to go to the Rajya Sabha with the SP’s support. The SP has a strength of 111 in the 403-member Assembly while the BJP has 255.
Says govt is fully aware about tribal issuesPanaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday said that the government is already apprised of all the issues related to the tribal community in the state and is doing a follow up on the same.“We are also following the political reservations for the OBC community at the central level as well as with the Election Commission of India,” he added.Sawant was addressing the annual Prerna Din function in the city, which was organised by the department of tribal welfare and United Tribal Association Alliance, in memory of the UTAA activists late Manguesh Gaonkar and late Deelip Velip.Speaker of the state legislative assembly Ramesh Tawadkar, and Minister for Art and Culture Govind Gaude were amongst those present.The Chief Minister further informed that the finance department has been directed to ensure that 12% of the funds in every department are mandatorily spent on tribal welfare.He revealed that the Centre has already allocated funds for setting up a Tribal Research Centre at Sanguem and a Tribal Museum at Farmagudi.It was also assured that the issues related to the setting up of the Tribal Bhavan would be resolved very soon.Speaking further, the Chief Minister said that the government is trying to grant at least 1,500 sanads to the tribal claimants in the state, during the next one year. “Till now, we could provide only 135 sanads to the forest land dwellers,” he informed, pointing out, “If the process expedites, then we can clear all claims in two-and-a-half years.”Stating that almost 10,000 claims of forest land dwellers are still pending under the Forest Right Act, Sawant said that the same would be cleared within a period of next two-and-a-half years.Members of the tribal community namely Rohidas Madkaikar in the field of agriculture, Satu alias Satish Bhiva Velip in the field of education, Govind Shirodkar in the field of culture and Pratiksha Gaunekar in the field of sports were presented with the annual awards.
Panaji: Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Goa unit has praised the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for initiating action against his own minister in a bribery case and has termed it as a historic development.Addressing the media, vice-president of AAP’s Goa unit Valmiki Naik said that Mann acted so as the party was founded with an aim to eliminate corruption.Valmiki said, “This is the second case of this nature, the first being in Delhi after AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took action against a minister in 2015 for demanding bribe.”While AAP’s chief spokesperson Rajdeep Naik said, “AAP is the only party that keeps its promises made to the people. Within two months of forming the government, AAP has fulfilled every promise made before the elections. Apart from that, AAP government walked the talk on ‘zero tolerance to corruption,’” he added. Vice president Sandesh Telekar Dessai said, “Corruption is widespread in Goa. There are many cases filed against people but when opposition parties expose corruption, only then relevant departments initiate action.”Meanwhile, reacting to the announcement made by the Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte that the government is contemplating to hold an EDM festival in Goa, AAP leaders claimed that these festivals are a big source of corruption.
Disaster warning centres in all talukasPanaji: Stating that a change in the climate is leading to natural disasters, which can occur any time, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said the state government has set up disaster warning centres in all the talukas under the Goa state disaster management.The Chief Minister also said the Directorate of Fire and Emergency Services will recruit divers for rescue operations, as currently divers from the Navy have to be called in for any assistance required, especially in case of drowning incidents.Sawant was speaking at a function held in the city by the Directorate of Fire and Emergency Services wherein certificates were awarded to ‘aapda mitra’ and ‘aapda sakhi’ community volunteers. Services of these community volunteers will be utilised during disaster response, relief and rehabilitation in the state.Congratulating the community volunteers, the Chief Minister said, “You need to be praised for coming forward to join this voluntary service despite getting a minimum honorarium for providing the service.”“Due to climate change, disasters can occur any time. Earlier, we knew the monsoon season lasted for four months during which there would be rains, gusty winds, storms and so on, but now it is not so. Due to a change in the climate, rains occur any time of the year,” Sawant said. “In such a situation, one cannot say what type of a disaster could occur and for that reason, a disaster warning centre is ready in every taluka. We have to make use of these centres,” the Chief Minister said.Stating that the government is ready to face any disaster, Sawant said the material and equipment required for the Fire Department or the Police Department are being procured. Stressing on the importance of community involvement, Sawant said members of the public are of vital help during any emergency situation, as they are the first ones to reach out to the victims.Director of Fire and Emergency Services Nitin Raiker said the department has appointed 350 community volunteers under the ‘aapda mitra’ and ‘aapda sakhi’ voluntary services. He informed that 37 community volunteers – 22 ‘aapda mitras’ and 15 ‘aapda sakhis’ – have undergone training in various aspects of disaster management at the regional training centre of the Goa Fire and Emergency Services at St Inez. He said training of the remaining community volunteers will be completed by December.Apart from Raiker, others present on the occasion were the Chief Secretary Puneet Kumar Goyal, the Secretary (General Administration) Sandip Jacques, the North Goa Collector Mamu Hage, National Disaster Management Authority Joint Secretary Kunal Satyarthi and other officials.
Sankhali: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that the government is taking all steps to find out causes of cervical cancers in Goa as the proportion of cancer cases in the state is higher as compared to other states of the country.The Bharatiya Janata Party, he said, is not only limited to elections but is constantly working to serve the people.He was speaking after inaugurating a medical camp at Kudne-Sankhali on Tuesday, organised by the BJP medical cell in collaboration with the Yuvraj Singh Foundation and Sankhali BJP.Sawant said that the health camp has been organised to facilitate detection of any diseases without delay.The Chief Minister announced provision of 100% health cover through the Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana. BJP is regularly working in the field of health education, etc, said Sawant, adding that health camps will be organised in all departments of the state for the benefit of the respective staffs.State president Sadanand Tanawade said that the government is concerned about every citizen of the state, further urging everyone to take benefit of such camps.Dr. Shekhar Salkar raised awareness on breast cancer as well as other cancers and various ailments.Sarpanch Mahendra Ekawade, district panchayat member Gopal Surlakar were present among others.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday held discussions on formulating a new industrial policy to attract investment in the state. Sawant said private landowners should be encouraged to lease their properties for industries and the government can facilitate it. The state government has decided to introduce amendments to industrial acts to facilitate ease of doing business in the state. The chief minister discussed the possibilities of encouraging private landowners to lease their lands for industries and the role of the government to facilitate it. It has also decided to consider granting permissions to re-start closed industrial units in the state. Sawant held a meeting along with industries minister Mauvin Godinho, Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) chairperson Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, industries, trade and commerce director, Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board (Goa-IPB) CEO Swetika Sachan and GIDC MD Venancio Furtado among others. The chief minister directed the officials to devise a roadmap for industrial growth in the state. During the meeting, Godinho said he will introduce amendments related to facilitating ease of doing business in the state during the monsoon session of the assembly. He said that the consultation process for the framing of a new industrial policy, aimed at streamlining processes to encourage new investors and industries to come to the state, has already started. The industries minister said that he has also sought inputs from industry stakeholders. Sachan spoke of the steps that would help create an environment of trust between the state and industry. She explained how a single window system to set up industries could become a reality if amendments were carried out to the Goa IPB Act. The CEO also said that if reforms were initiated in GIDC regulations and all key departments then it would help get clearances within a timeline and it would help in formulating an investment policy.
Panaji: For improved ease of living, the state government, under the direction of the Union government, has identified as many as 180 sections under 44 acts and rules for decriminalisation of provision of imprisonment and fines for minor violations. These sections are primarily spread across various laws and rules pertaining to tourism, panchayat, education, health, revenue, PWD, commercial tax, legal metrology, agriculture, information technology, law and judiciary, labour, transport, forest, and TCP, among others. The sections identified for decriminalising attract imprisonment to the extent of 10 years and fines to the tune of Rs 2 lakh. Union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, in a letter to the chief minister, said that it has now been decided to focus on decriminalisation of provisions of imprisonment for minor violations. “There is a need to take up a comprehensive review of all acts/rules administered by states/UTs to eliminate the risk of imprisonment of citizens for minor violations. Many such provisions may have become dated and outlived their utility,” he stated in the letter. Gauba said that a comprehensive exercise in this regard has been initiated by the ministries departments in the government of India and decriminalisation of several provisions under the Companies Act, 2013, Biological Diversity Act, 2002, etc, has already been completed. Last week, chief minister Pramod Sawant had said that laws that create hurdles in ease of doing business and ease of living will be eliminated during the monsoon session of the state legislative assembly. The acts and rules whose sections have been identified include, the Goa, Daman and Diu Registration of Tourist Trade Act, 1982, and Rules 1985, the Goa Rural Improvement and Welfare Cess Act 2000, the School Education Act, 1984, the Goa Tillari Irrigation Development Corporation Act, 1999, the Goa, Daman and Diu Wild Animals and Wild Birds Protection Act, 1965, the Goa Medical Practitioners Act, 2004, and Rules 2011, the Goa, Daman and Diu Mundkars (Protection from Eviction) Act, 1975, and Rules 1977, Goa Municipal Act, 1968, the Goa Non-biodegradable Garbage (control) Act, 1996, the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, and the Goa Excise Duty Act and Rules, 1964, among others. “The state governments may also draw up roadmaps for decriminalisation of various provisions in laws administered by their states. Dedicated teams headed by senior level officers may be constituted in relevant departments of the state for this purpose,” Gauba said. The Union cabinet secretary also said that these teams may be tasked with comprehensively reviewing existing acts/rules and identifying provisions that are to be removed, retained or decriminalised. “Necessary stakeholder consultations may be held for this purpose. Once this review is completed, the next steps of preparing bills for amendment of laws and seeking cabinet approvals would also have to be undertaken,” Gauba said.
Vasco: Seven passenger flights coming from Delhi to Goa were delayed due to bad weather conditions at the Delhi airport.According to sources at the airport, a total of seven flights got delayed on Monday. Three of the flights were of Indigo which got delayed by one and a half hour to 2 hours. One of these flights carried Chief Minister Pramod Sawant back to Goa. The flight was supposed to land at 6.40 p.m. One was a Vistara flight which was delayed by two hours. Two flights were of Air Asia which got delayed by 20-25 minutes. And one delayed flight was of Goa Air which was delayed by an hour.As the flights got delayed, the passengers were inconvenienced.
Further reduction unlikely in GoaNew Delhi/Mumbai: Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Kerala have decreased the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s call to provide further relief to consumers following a cut in excise duty by the Centre, though some other states appeared reluctant citing their inability to take more strain on revenue.Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Sunday wondered whether the states can afford to give up revenue from the VAT on petrol and diesel unless the Centre devolves more funds or gives them more grants, likening their situation to being between “the devil and the deep sea”.The Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government slashed the VAT on petrol by `2.08 per litre and diesel by `1.44 per litre. A statement issued by the government said the state exchequer will have to bear an annual loss of `2,500 crore as a result of this decision.However, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led government in Tamil Nadu said that it is neither fair nor reasonable to expect the states to reduce their taxes. The state’s Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan said the central government had never consulted states when it increased the taxes and Tamil Nadu was already incurring a loss of over `1,000 crore due to the earlier tax cut announced by the Union government in November 2021. Despite the tax reduction announcedby the Centre on Saturday, the rates were still high compared to 2014, he pointed out.“The Union government’s levies on petrol have gone up substantially in the past seven years. Though the revenue to the Union government has increased manifold, there has not been a matching increase in the revenues to the states. This is because the Union government has increased the cess and surcharge on petrol and diesel while reducing the basic excise duty that is shareable with the states,” he averred.Post the November 2021 reduction in excise duty on petrol by `5 per litre and that on diesel by `10 a litre, 25 states and Union territories had cut VAT to give further reprieve to consumers battered by record-high retail prices. States ruled by non-NDA parties like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal did not do so.Responding to the Minister’s remarks that states were not consulted by the Centre before increasing fuel prices, BJP Tamil Nadu president K. Annamalai wondered if such a practice was followed during the earlier UPA regime in which the DMK was a key constituent.Speaking to reporters, he gave a “72-hour” ultimatum to the ruling DMK to implement its poll promise on fuel price cuts.Tamil Nadu’s main Opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam also urged the ruling DMK to implement its poll promise of reducing prices of petroleum products.However, the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala had on Saturday promptly announced a cut in the state tax on the prices of petrol and diesel by `2.41 and `1.36 per litre, respectively, following the reduction in fuel prices by the Centre.Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also said the state government will reduce VAT by `2.48 per litre on petrol and `1.16 per litre on diesel.In Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Kamal Nath demanded that the BJP government reduce VAT on petroleum products to further bring down the rates.Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said it was the duty of not only Uttar Pradesh but also of other states to immediately announce a cut in VAT on fuel.In BJP-ruled Karnataka, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said his government will consider a further cut in fuel tax. “The decision (Centre’s) has come on Saturday night, let’s see, we will consider it,” Bommai told reporters here in response to a query.Bommai was last month non-committal on any further cut in fuel tax by the state government and had maintained that any decision in this regard will be taken after looking at the economy of the state.A source in the Goa government said the Pramod Sawant-led dispensation will not further reduce the VAT on petrol and diesel, as it “might hurt the economy”. Goa levies 26% VAT on petrol and 22% on diesel.The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal said the state will cut taxes once the Centre lifts the “economic blockade” and releases the funds due to the state. National spokesperson of TMC Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said West Bengal will slash fuel prices once the Centre clears its dues amounting to `97,000 crore.Last month, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she will reduce the tax on petroleum products in the state once the central government clears all the pending dues it owes to the state.The price of petrol on Saturday was slashed by `8.69 a litre and that of diesel by `7.05 per litre following the government decision to cut excise duty on auto fuels.Announcing the duty cut through tweets, Finance Minister Sitharaman exhorted all state governments to also cut local sales tax or VAT.Welcoming the move, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “I want to highlight the fact despite this second reduction in central excise, price of petrol and diesel in states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Kerala remain around `10-15 higher than in BJP-ruled states.”Rates differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT. Andhra Pradesh has the highest VAT on petrol and diesel in the country, followed by Rajasthan and BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh.“This (high prices in non-BJP ruled states) is due to the refusal of their respective state governments to reduce VAT. It is time for these states to wake up and reduce VAT to provide relief to their consumers,” Puri said.The Congress government in Rajasthan had cut VAT following the November 2021 decision. Punjab, which was ruled by the party then, had seen the biggest reduction due to a cut in VAT rates.
Panaji: The state’s plans for heli tourism that were grounded since 2016 following protests by Sinquerim locals, took off on Friday after a private agency, Blade India, an urban air mobility company, launched the state’s first helicopter service from the helipad at Aguada. The Blade India announced three rides — connecting airport to South and North Goa, charter service from Maharashtra and within Goa and a 10-minute experiential flights giving a bird’s eye view of the state’s coastline. Five years ago, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) had to discontinue the project after local fishing community and villagers, supported by some local politicians, raised objections to the use of the same helipad. The GTDC tried to operate the service by moving it to South Goa, but it had to be discontinued for logistic reasons. Chief minister Pramod Sawant who launched the service exuded confidence that there won’t be “opposition” now and appreciated Blade India for taking the risk. “There was an opposition, then but I don’t think people will oppose these kind of services, now,” Sawant said replying to a query. Last year, the GTDC had commissioned a helipad at Old Goa and declared that it will re-launch the helicopter service. Sawant said that it could not start since permission from CRZ authority is awaited. In the past, the project was delayed as GTDC had to finalise a location for a helipad and later since it had to retender to select a service provider. Having a helicopter service in Goa, Sawant said, will boost tourism and help the tourists explore the hinterlands of the state. “The government will help the agency in getting permissions required to commence operations,” Sawant said. Blade India has identified landing points in Surla and Sanquelim in North Goa. The company’s founder Karanpal Singh said they will use the present infrastructure and also create new helipads with the help of the government. Blade India’s strategic partner Airbus Helicopters’ India and South Asia head Sunny Guglani said despite having rich flora and fauna, the country has not been able to attract more tourists as it is hard to reach the interiors. “We need solutions to connect potential tourists both foreign and Indian and create economic opportunities. Goa has beautiful beaches, forts and waterfalls. I think helicopters can play a pivotal role in unlocking the true potential of Goa,” he said. Goa can lead the way for the rest of the country, Gunglani said. Copter service can be used for medical emergencies: CM TNN Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant said Blade India’s helicopter services in the state can be used in case of medical emergencies, an option that was not available in the past. “In a medical emergency, where a patient needs to be immediately shifted to a hospital, wherever needed, the helicopter service can be availed. Sometimes, it takes two hours to transport a patient to a medical facility via road,” Sawant said. Goans and other travellers, he said, will also have the option of choosing helicopter service to visit nearby cities in Maharashtra or Karnataka, and help increase connectivity and also promote medical tourism. The chief minister said people from other neighbouring cities of Maharashtra and Karnataka will certainly use the helicopter services.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant held a meeting with Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) on Thursday to discuss efforts to attract new private investments into the state along with steps that can improve the ease of doing business for existing local industries. GCCI president Ralph de Sousa said that administrative reforms need to be introduced in all government departments so that the private sector can operate efficiently. Pointing out that the government aims to remove the need for various licences, Sawant said that the government has introduced ease of doing business reforms in the town and country planning department with more reforms planned in other departments. GCCI also urged the state government to reduce power transmission and distribution losses, obtain more power from the Centre and form district-level committees to oversee the power situation. “Regarding labour issues, GCCI requested a dialogue with the industry and government in labour-related matters. We have also asked the government to promote mass plantation of Goan fruit bearing trees along national highways,” Sousa said. GCCI has assured full support to create awareness about various schemes announced both at the state and the national level. Chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel along with other officials were present for the meeting. During his interaction, Sawant spoke about nurturing Goa into an agro industry state, while also facilitating growth of tourism, logistics, retail and manufacturing sectors. The chief minister also agreed to set up a Grievance Redressal Committee with GCCI members and industry stakeholders. The committee will directly connect with the chief minister’s office and discuss industry specific issues. Sawant said that the committee would aim to resolve all major concerns within six months. Sawant informed GCCI that the state government is working with the Telangana government to emulate their industrial model in Goa. He also said that a retail policy and logistics policy for Goa is on the anvil. The chief minister assured industry representatives that the Mormugao port connectivity will be completed within the next six to nine months. “This will be part of the multimodal linkage under the Gati Shakti programme and modernisation of infrastructure,” Sawant said.
GCCI suggests improvement in power infrastructure in the statePanaji: With the state in the grip of frequent power cuts, the GCCI has suggested lowering the transmission and distribution (T&D) losses of Goa electricity department as the way out for improving power supply to consumers.The industry body pointed out that about 90 MW of power is lost in transmission and distribution which if controlled can help in addressing the 150 MW shortage of power presently in the state.The GCCI also recommended more power sanction for Goa from the Centre.Chief Minister Pramod Sawant visited the GCCI office on Thursday for his first interaction with members of local industry during his second term. Chief Secretary Puneet Kumar Goyal and secretaries of various government departments were also present at the meeting.During the interaction, the GCCI suggested improvement in power infrastructure in the state and also requested a dialogue with the government in labour-related matters. Promoting mass plantation of Goan fruit-bearing trees along the national highways was also one of the suggestions made by the GCCI.From the government side, the Chief Minister promised ease of doing business (EoDB) by removing multiplicity of various licences. He said that EoDB has already started in the Town and Country Planning (TCP) department and more reforms would be initiated in other departments.Sawant also assured of implementing the Public Service Delivery Act (2013) in principle. He said that the government would give accreditation to local hotels and venues having facilities to host marriages or public events under EoDB.He has also agreed to set up grievance redressal committee wherein GCCI members, industry stakeholders can directly connect with Chief Minister’s office and discuss on industry specific issues and ensure fast-track resolution of long-pending as well as current difficulties faced by trade and industry. With the setting up of the committee the government aims to sort out all major issues faced by industry in six months, said Sawant.The Chief Minister sought industry help in increasing agriculture yield. “Goa spends over Rs 10 crore per day towards procuring milk, vegetables, fruits, poultry etc., from other states. The agriculture sector needs rejuvenation,” he pointed out.The state will follow the industrial model of Telangana, disclosed Sawant.During the meeting, a skill gap study prepared by the GCCI with the Goa Institute of Management was submitted to the Chief Minister.GCCI president Ralph de Sousa, vice-president Shrinivas Dempo, vice-president Pratima Dhond, secretary Yatin Kakodkar, treasurer Chandrakant Gawas, director general Sanjay Amonkar along with the managing committee members were present at the meeting.
Panaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that his government will recommend to the state election commission (SEC) to defer the elections to 186 village panchayats so as to adopt triple test for reserving wards for other backward classes.Interacting with media persons in Panaji, Sawant said the government will not do any injustice to the people belonging to OBCs.“I have received the opinion of the Advocate General on the recent verdict of the Supreme Court. If we hold the polls immediately then we will have to hold elections without reserving even a single ward; we don’t want to do this. We want to give reservation to OBCs as they constitute 27% of the state’s total population,” Sawant explained.“Government can’t postpone the elections; it is the discretion of the SEC. We will seek time.”“If the poll panel grants time then we will ask the OBC Commission to complete the triple test exercise. Once the report of the OBC Commission is ready then it will be sent to the SEC for consideration and thereafter the SEC will announce the election schedule,” he added.It is pertinent to note that the triple test has been mandated by the apex court for reservation of wards for OBCs for the local body elections.“As per the state Advocate General’s opinion, the government will seek time from the SEC for asking the OBC Commission to prepare a report, based on which reservation of wards can be done for the panchayat elections in accordance with Supreme Court directions,” the Chief Minister added.“The related file will be sent to SEC tomorrow,” Sawant said.In a related development, Goa State Commission for Backward Classes chairman Manohar Adpaikar expressed his readiness to undertake the triple test exercise.“We are ready. But we need the required manpower to conduct a survey. Government should allow us to rope in its employees. With their assistance, we can complete the task keeping the last survey as base, provided it is accepted by the concerned authorities,” Adpaikar said.He said that if need arises then the government can consider engaging an agency to conduct a totally fresh survey across the state.“Agencies have experience and all machinery with them. They are familiar with conducting big surveys in quick time,” Adpaikar said.He informed that the last survey was conducted in December 2013, where it was found that 26.26% of the state’s population belonged to the OBC category.
Margao: Leader of opposition Michael Lob on on Tuesday demanded that the government postpone the panchayat elections scheduled for June by four months to facilitate proper provision of reservation for OBCs in accordance with the Supreme Court order in that regard. The term of the panchayats expires in June before which their elections are due. On May 10, the Supreme Court had held that no reservation for OBCs can be provisioned until the triple test formality, including setting up of a dedicated commission to conduct a contemporaneous rigorous empirical inquiry into the nature and implications of the backwardness qua local bodies within the state, is followed “in all respects”. Lobo said that the SC order states that if the exercise isn’t completed in time then that except for seats reserved for SC/ST, rest must be categorised as general category. Lobo said that if the government goes ahead with the polls based on the available data, there was a possibility of it being challenged in the court thereby inviting trouble. Further pointing out that the state OBC corporation was lying defunct, Lobo demanded that the body be revived at the earliest. “Place administrators for panchayats for carrying out day to day affairs. There’s no provision in law for extension of terms of panchayat bodies,” Lobo said.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that laws that create hurdles in ease of doing business and ease of living will be eliminated during the monsoon session of the state legislative assembly. The law department is already in the process of identifying the laws which need to be eliminated, he said. Sawant launched the Goa Mission Karmayogi to prepare government employees for the future and to bring reforms in bureaucracy. He said that big reforms will be introduced for ease of doing business and ease of living. The capacity building commission of the government of India had organised a half-day workshop for IAS officers and heads of departments. The chief minister said that training for government employees will continue. Sawant said that reforms will be done for the industries sector, forest sector and revenue sector among others so that people can benefit from ease of living. “In the next assembly session, the government will bring in a lot of reforms. Many laws that are creating hurdles and those which are not required will be eliminated,” he said. Chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel said that all employees will be given training to implement ease of doing business and ease of living so that public delivery will be improved. Goel said that the government will see where there is delay and how it can be improved. “Public work which has to be completed in seven days should not take two months,” the chief secretary said. He said that government employees will be trained to provide online services to the public. “We have to reduce paperwork and through IT we have to improve public delivery. It is a duty of each and every government employee for public delivery and unless training is given in proper tools public delivery cannot be improved,” Goel said.
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant said the state government will requisition water pumps from mining companies to drain water from mining pits during the monsoon in order to prevent any mishaps. He was speaking after meeting with the chief secretary, the directorate of mines and the disaster management authority to discuss safety measures that need to be taken up at mining pits. “If mining companies are not ready to take safety measures at mining leases during the monsoon, the water resources department and public works department will take over and manage the matter,” Sawant said. The chief minister said that after the state ordered mining companies to vacate their leases before June 6, they had begun removing water pumps from the mining pits. “We have, however, told them not to remove the pumps that are utilised for dewatering the pits,” he said. Sawant had on Tuesday said new pumps would be installed, pipes would be laid and electricity would be provided to dewater mining pits during the fast-approaching monsoon. On May 4, the state government had initiated the process to take over 88 mining leases from lessees whose second renewal was quashed by the Supreme Court in February 2018. The directorate of mines and geology had issued notices to all 88 mining companies to vacate the leases within a month. On April 20, chief minister Pramod Sawant had held a meeting with Union home minister Amit Shah over the mining issue and a decision was taken to auction the 88 mining leases.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Monday directed the Goa Handicrafts Rural and Small-Scale Industries Development Corporation to conduct training programmes for local artisans and discussed solutions to make the corporation profitable. Sawant reviewed the schemes and activities conducted by the corporation. Sawant chaired a meeting with the chairman of the corporation, Pravin Arlekar, and officials. tnn
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said that Goa, “which till now is known for sun, sand, and sea tourism, will soon also be known for spiritual and cultural tourism.” The chief minister said that for the past several years, religious institutions have create awareness about dev (god), dharma (religion) and desh (nation). Padma Shri Sadguru Brahmeshanand Acharya swami said that he will support the government to rebuild temples. “We call ourselves Hindus. We never attack or trouble anyone, whereas Hindus are attacked and converted. Temples are demolished. If we try to rebuild or restore our temples then we are blamed,” the swami said. Sawant in an exclusive interview to TOI had said Goa being a touristic state, the state government wants to develop it as the tourism capital of India. In his budget speech, Sawant has made a provision of Rs 20 crore for reconstruction and restoration of temples and heritage sites destroyed during the Portuguese era. Sawant had said that the state government will develop a spiritual tourism circuit that will enable tourists to visit temples and churches in villages.
PANAJI: Most of the history in our country is Western propaganda forced on us. Veer Savarkar is an unsung hero of the Indian freedom struggle, yet a section of people have only spread lies, falsehood and hatred against him. The Goa government will reprint Savarkar’s books and distribute them in libraries across Goa, chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Sunday, speaking at the closing ceremony of a literature festival in Goa. “Veer Savarkar was an unsung hero, who fought the British regime, faced the most brutal punishment. The Goa government will make it a point to reprint Savarkar’s books ‘1857 Che Swatantra Samar’ and ‘Gomantak’ on immediate basis and circulate these books in all the libraries in Goa,” said Sawant. He added that the books of author Vikram Sampath, who was at KLF, will also be distributed. Savarkar’s book ‘Gomantak’ is on the plight of Goans under the Portuguese colonial oppression, Sawant said. Goa has always been an integral part of India despite being under the Portuguese regime for over four centuries, the CM said. He said that while history should be an independent representation of the occurrences of the past, this has not been the case. “History has to be fact driven and not opinion driven. Unfortunately, in our country, the history that has been forced upon us has been the propaganda of the West and what they thought about us. They thought we were a land of snake-charmers, they thought we were a country of poor. But my question is, did they invade us because we were poor? The answer is definitely ‘no’,” Sawant said. The first person to challenge this vicious propaganda was Savarkar, said the chief minister. “As Indians we have largely failed to acknowledge the life and work of this glorious patriot,” he said. Sawant said that Savarkar through his book ‘1857 Che Swatantra Samar’ challenged the might of the British Empire. “This book ignited the flame of patriotism among many youth and the British regime banned this book. Fortunately, only one copy of this book was saved with a Goan and this helped in getting it reprinted,” Sawant said. The CM said that Savarkar also highlighted the importance of being ‘swayampurna’ and started by coining parallel Indian words like ‘mahapovor’ to replace English words like ‘mayor’. Sawant also invited KLF founder Sumant Batra to hold the literary festival permanently in Goa.
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said that Konkani writers need to take up the challenge of producing more works for children in the language as an effort to popularise Konkani among the younger generation. Reacting to the statement, while some Konkani writers appreciated it, others said the government itself can do more to encourage use of Konkani among youngsters. It is necessary to start from children in popularising a language, said Madhav Borkar, Konkani literary critic and poet. “It should start from children. There is a need for children’s literature. It will help create new writers for the future. It is very important. Children’s literature is also serious literature. Children’s literature is not necessarily only for children. It is also for adults. ‘Alice in Wonderland’, for instance, can be read by adults as well. ‘Gulliver’s Travel’ can also be read by both adults and children,” said Borkar. Konkani writer Hema Naik, agreeing with the chief minister’s statement, said, “We need not just original children’s books written in Konkani, but also those translated from other languages. Just Konkani textbooks are not enough. Even reference books are not available in Konkani, which we need. The government already has a mechanism to acquire and distribute the books.” Mukesh Thali, creative Konkani writer, translator, and lexicographer, agreed with Sawant that a passion for the language ignited in children will ultimately help conserve the language. “Language is the core of culture and we cannot progress without it. There is primarily a joy in speaking your language. The proverbs, for instance, have so much symbolism and so many fine nuances, which even as a translator, I find it difficult to translate in any other language,” he said. Thali said that writers like Ramesh Veluskar have written nursery rhymes which need to be popularised again. “Younger generation should be given books with colours to attract them. There are many promising youth and institutions doing a lot of work already in this area. Social media can be used to pull youngsters to the language. We could also make more audio books. Those like Veluskar have written beautiful rhymes for children. I have also translated the works of scientists. But we need to do more,” said Thali. Konkani writer Uday Bhembre said that the chief minister may not be aware that many quality children’s books in Konkani have already been produced by Konkani Bhasha Mandal (KBM) and the National Book Trust over the years. Bhembre, however, said that if Konkani education among children is not encouraged, there will be no readers for these books in the near future. “His views are good, but unfortunately the government policy is contradictory. Over the last three years, the government received 70 applications to open new Konkani primary schools and approval was given only to one, rejecting 69 applications. If the government does not allow new Konkani schools, will the books for children be read by adults?” he said. Bhembre said the government can help at least to some extent, if not fully, to create the necessary conducive environment to popularise Konkani among children. “At least students studying Marathi can read Konkani, but those who go to English schools are discouraged from speaking Konkani and even fined for speaking in Konkani in school. The social or educational environment required for Konkani to flourish can be created by the government to some extent. The chief minister should introspect and take corrective measures,” he said.
Panaji : Stating that history needs to be fact driven and not opinion driven, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday said the history which has been forced upon us is the propaganda of the West and what they thought about us.Speaking at the Kumaon Literary Festival, Sawant said, “The first person to challenge this vicious propaganda was the noted freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar – Veer – Savarkar.”Savarkar, through his book ‘1857 che Swatantrya Samar’ challenged the mighty British Empire and displayed the glorious patriotism, he reckoned.The Chief Minister also said that although the particular book ignited the flame of patriotism among many youth, the British rulers banned it. “Fortunately, only one copy of this Marathi book was retained by a Goan person and was later reprinted,” he informed, stating that after the Independence of India lies were spread about Veer Savarkar to tarnish his image.“We as Indians have largely failed in acknowledging the life and works of the glorious patriots,” the Chief Minister lamented, expressing satisfaction that well-researched content on Savarkar was being released at the Kumaon Literary Festival, which will become an important document to inspire the future generations of our country.The Chief Minister launched the book ‘Savarkar’ (Volume II) in its Hindi edition.He also launched the English editions of both volumes at the literary festival, which ended on Sunday evening.The writer of the book Vikram Sampath was also present on the occasion.Sawant also said the department of information and publicity will reprint two Marathi books by Savarkar namely ‘Gomantak’ and ‘1857 che Swatantrya Samar’ into English and Konkani languages, and the same will be available in all libraries in the state.“This prestigious project will be taken up by the government on priority basis,” he added.He lauded Savarkar for supporting a Swayampurna India in every sense, including the Indian vocabulary to replace English words.
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said that collaboration and investment by industry conglomerates like Tata Sons will offer great opportunities for Goa. Sawant on Saturday met Tata Sons group chairman N Chandrasekaran, Noel Tata and other CEOs, to boost investment in Goa. Industries minister Mauvin Godinho and chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel were also present at the meeting. Goa Small Industries Association (GSIA) played a key role in arranging this meeting, with a clear agenda of inviting the mother industry to boost MSME growth, Sawant said. The chief minister said that opportunities in all sectors like IT, aviation manufacturing, retail, hospitality, training centres for hospitality, and soft skills were discussed at the meeting. “Goa possesses immense potential in industry development and employment generation,” Sawant said. The CMO said that Chandrasekaran promised to immediately plan an internal meeting with their top CEOs to promote new businesses in Goa. Jobs in retail, IT, hospitality discussedSawant said opportunities in sectors like IT, aviation manufacturing, retail, hospitality, training centres for hospitality, and soft skills were discussed. “Goa possesses immense potential in industry development and employment generation,” Sawant said. The CMO said Chandrasekaran promised to immediately plan an internal meeting with their top CEOs to promote new businesses in Goa.
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said that collaboration and investment by industry conglomerates like Tata Sons will offer great opportunities for Goa. Sawant on Saturday met Tata Sons group chairman N Chandrasekaran, Noel Tata and other CEOs, to boost investment in Goa. Industries minister Mauvin Godinho and chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel were also present at the meeting. Goa Small Industries Association (GSIA) played a key role in arranging this meeting, with a clear agenda of inviting the mother industry to boost MSME growth, Sawant said. The chief minister said that opportunities in all sectors like IT, aviation manufacturing, retail, hospitality, training centres for hospitality, and soft skills were discussed at the meeting. “Goa possesses immense potential in industry development and employment generation,” Sawant said. The CMO said that Chandrasekaran promised to immediately plan an internal meeting with their top CEOs to promote new businesses in Goa.
PANAJI: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said that the state government would amend recruitment rules to recruit skilled professionals in government departments. He said that the state has started a "tie-up" with private industries to get them to recruit Goans. "There is the need to change recruitment rules for many jobs," the chief minister said. "For some jobs, we don't have qualified persons as the required courses are not available in the state. We have to start such courses through skill development. In the next two years, these courses that are not available in Goa - small certificate courses, diploma courses, one-year courses - will be started through skill development programmes. Those who have those qualifications will get jobs in the government or private sector." Sawant said that for instance, the posts of cook and barber find no candidates. Job opportunities available in Goa, need to grab them: CMFor the post of stenographer, we get only five applications for one post, whereas for LDC, we get 10,000 applications, and that is the reason we have to develop skills. If we are able to do it, we can make employment available for skilled professionals.” Sawant said that there is also a need to upgrade skills. “You can take up a job in the government or private sector, but what is learned in ITI courses (plumbing, electrician, etc) should be used for self-employment,” he said. Speaking on the ongoing recruitment at Goa Shipyard, Sawant said that when he enquired how many Goans have applied for the jobs, he was told that just 49 applications from Goans were received. “There are job opportunities available in Goa, and we need to grab those opportunities,” Sawant said. He also said that if Goan youth are skilled, only then will the private sector employ them. “We have to grab the opportunities before some other person takes it,” he said. Sawant said that to commence a start-up in Goa, there is no need for an IT background; even an ITI alumnus can start one, and the state government gives a grant of Rs 10 lakh.
Staff ReporterPanajiIn order to align the state with the entire nation in terms of development, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Industries Minister Mauvin Godinho along with Chief Secretary Puneet Kumar Goel interacted with the chairman of Tata Sons Group, N. Chandrasekharan, Noel Tata and other top CEOs to boost investment in Goa.Goa State Industries Association played a key role in arranging the crucial meeting with a clear agenda of inviting the mother industry to boost MSME growth, a press release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office on Saturday stated.It further said that opportunities in all the sectors likeIT, aviation, manufacturing,retail, hospitality, training centres for hospitality and soft skills were discussed.Chairman of Tata Sons Group was impressed by earnestness of Chief Minister and Industries Minister’s holistic approach towards employment generation and promised to immediately plan an internal meeting with their top CEOs to promote new generation businesses for Goa, adds the releases.Stating that Goa possesses immense potential in industry development and employment generation, the Chief Minister Sawant expressed that the collaboration and investment by industry conglomerates like Tata Sons shall offer great opportunities for Goa, mentions the release.