Times of India | 1 week ago | 13-05-2022 | 02:29 am
Panaji: Goa Football Association (GFA) president Churchill Alemao has again called for an inquiry into how the ‘gold’ from the Bandodkar Trophy has disappeared. The Bandodkar Gold Trophy is the state’s most-prized football asset but has been lying in a GFA godown for the last four years. Donated by Goa’s first chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar in 1970, the trophy was said to be of solid gold and guarded by police when taken out of the bank locker during finals of the tournament. However, when GFA brought out the trophy from the bank locker in Mapusa in 2016 and evaluated, it was found to have only 11 percent gold. “On evaluation, the contents of the trophy were approximately 60 percent copper, 29 percent silver and 11 percent gold,” Elvis Gomes said in his president’s report during the AGM in 2016. Alemao had called for an inquiry during the state assembly session in 2019, but with the state government dragging its feet is now set to approach the courts. “I had demanded an inquiry during the assembly session and the sports minister (Manohar) Babu Ajgaonkar had agreed. Even chief minister (Pramod) Sawant was there, but I don’t know whether the inquiry has even started. “I want to get to the bottom of this matter and will use my own money to take this to court. We need answers how a trophy made of solid gold and valued at Rs 20 lakh in 1999 (according to a GFA souvenir) now has just 11 percent gold,” Alemao told reporters at the GFA headquarters on Thursday. The trophy was brought out of the bank locker in 2016 when the Bandodkar tournament was revived after 22 years. Since then, the trophy has spent time at the GFA headquarters, GFDC office in the city and now the godown. “The trophy was always removed from the bank locker with police protection. As a kid I remember going close to the trophy and getting a stick from the police. In 2016, no protocols were followed. I have proof too and I will submit it to the relevant authorities when this inquiry happens,” said Alemao. The GFA president said he has not had a look at the trophy since taking charge of the association in 2018. “Surprisingly, even the previous files of the Bandodkar trophy are missing (from the office). The GFA file only has correspondence from the time Branco was the president (1974-77). We need records when the trophy was donated by Bandodkar (in 1970),” said Alemao. Action against members The GFA executive committee which met earlier in the day has asked the ethics committee to ascertain whether four of its members were guilty of bringing the association into disrepute by “buying a trophy on their own and then blaming GFA for not having funds.” “I don’t have an issue with the members buying a trophy and handing it over to league champions Dempo. They should have informed me or the office, but didn’t do it. But the members’ aim was to tarnish my reputation due to the upcoming elections by making unwarranted allegations in the media. I have spent my own money to run the league and GFA,” said Alemao. Relegation on hold Alemao said the GFA would will not have relegation this season since the first and second division leagues have not been held due to Covid-19. Asked why the GFA had the ‘relegation league’ if relegation was not being enforced, Alemao said it was a mistake on the association’s part to name the bottom-half league as relegation. “It was not meant to be a relegation league,” said Alemao. “We wrote to the AIFF explaining the situation and they have replied to us saying it’s an internal matter and we have their full support and approval. Relegation has now been kept on hold.” Last season, Sesa FA were retained in the Goa Pro League despite finishing at the bottom.
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.
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.