Times of India | 1 week ago | 13-05-2022 | 01:19 am
Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant’s decision to approach Union home minister Amit Shah has proven the Goa government’s inability to control sex trafficking and prostitution in the state, TMC said here on Thursday. TMC’s Goa unit said that Sawant has abdicated his responsibility and has failed to protect the people of Goa. “The failure of the BJP government in Goa is yet again brought to the fore Sawant’s inability to address the issue of increasing sex trafficking in Goa,” TMC’s Goa state in-charge Kirti Azad said. Sawant held a meeting with NGO Anyay Rahit Zindagi (ARZ) regarding sex trafficking during which he said that he will take up the issue with Shah during his next visit to New Delhi. Azad and former TMC vice-president Rajendra Kakodkar said that Sawant is passing the buck to the Centre instead of taking decisive steps to prevent prostitution in Goa. “Is it right for Sawant to pass the buck to the Union home minister for what is happening in the state? One wonders as to how Amit Shah sitting in Delhi is supposed to combat the issue of sex trafficking that is plaguing Goa,” Kakodkar said. “Goa TMC seeks accountability from the chief minister for the worsening condition of law and order in the state. It’s high time the chief minister takes stock of the situation,” Azad said.
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: TMC formed an eight-member core committee for Goa along with a 50-member ad hoc committee of coordinators on Thursday who have been asked to strengthen and rebuild the party by September 1. The party has also asked its workers to prepare for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, an announcement that could complicate Congress’ efforts to retain the South Goa Lok Sabha seat. Former TMC state vice president Rajendra Kakodkar is the coordinator of the ad hoc core committee, which also includes the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Luizinho Faleiro, Antonio Clovis D’Costa, Dr Jorson Fernandes, Jagdish Bhobe, Samil Volvoikar and Mariano Rodrigues. “The forthcoming Lok Sabha and vidhan sabha elections are our current targets and we will bounce back in a strong and resilient manner,” said party’s Goa incharge, Kirti Azad. “Our leadership will take up local issues and bring to fore the problems of the people of Goa and pressurise the current government to deliver solutions.” Azad made the announcement at a press conference where he was accompanied by TMC national vice-president Faleiro and Kakodkar at the party office in Panaji. The cricketer-turned-politician said that the two committees have been asked to increase the membership and form new district and block committees over the next 100 days, after which a new state-level executive committee will be formed. Interestingly, former Benaulim MLA Churchill Alemao and his daughter Valanka, who contested the assembly elections on TMC tickets, do not find mention in the two ad-hoc committees. When asked about Alemao’s role in the party, Azad said that the party has not been able to contact Alemao.
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.