The Congress assures that if the party comes to power then its government will bring in necessary amendments to laws to ensure 100 per cent employment to the Goan youth. Goa pradesh Congress committee president Luizinho Faleiro tells Shoaib Shaikh that the party will train Goans to make good use of employment opportunities
Q: What can the youth of Goa expect from the Congress regarding their employment?
It is very sad that the youth are losing the faith in the government of the day and trying to run away from by obtaining Portuguese passport or going out of the state for employment. They are highly educated and talented, and this actually is brain-drain. We have to give them a new hope so that they are gainfully employed or self-employed. We have created tremendous potential for employment and therefore you have migrants in Goa. There is a mismatch, and therefore the need is of skill development and train our people to make good use of employment opportunities.
Q: Then, will you bring in amendments to laws to ensure better employment opportunities?
During my tenure as industries minister, we had brought in amendments to laws. One law that stands out is the Goa, Daman and Diu Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Rules, 1982 which not only regulated but also ensured that the necessary facilities are provided to them. On the other side, you should be able to spend the money and harness this potential.
We will take all steps to ensure that every youth gets employed and we have set our eyes on 100 per cent employment to the Goan youth.
Q: Congress has been accused of promoting corruption. How will you tackle corruption?
The root of corruption is the delays in the process of administration. You create people-friendly administration with a paradigm shift in the thinking. Any service which the government is providing should be time-bound and it should be as a matter of right and not as a matter of favour. And in the process any institution which contributes to the delay in providing services to the public is the hotbeds of corruption. And we will make the whole of Goa a ‘hi-fi’ state and fully digitalised, which will eliminate these possibilities of corruption. We have to make a ‘people-responsible’ administration.
Q: You have accused the present government of pushing the state into debt traps. How will you revive Goa’s economy?
Goans have been endowed by nature with rich natural resources. And these resources belong to the people and we need not be in the debt trap. My dream is that Goa should be jewel in the crown of India. In the present circumstances it may be a difficult task but not an impossible one. If we account our natural resources correctly, tap them to the appropriate potential and arrest the leakages, Goa’s economy will not just be out of the debt traps but also flourish on its own capacity. We will ensure that Goa’s economy is made independent with sustainable growth by harnessing all its resources including the human resource.
Q: The present government could not restart mining in full-scale. What are Congress’ plans to resume mining activities?
We would like to restart mining in the state. Mining in Goa shall be restored incorporating the entire recommendations of the Supreme Court of India. We want to make Goa an independent economy based on the principles of sustainability, growth and empowerment of its people. The mining industry has an ancillary sector and therefore all the stakeholders must be taken onboard to value, preserve and sustainably use Goa’s natural resources.
Q: What are you plans for furthering Goa’s tourism sector?
As far as tourism is concerned we have not applied our mind for quality, ethical and environmental tourism. We have been talking of junk tourism. If one feels that casinos, drugs, prostitution is tourism then it is not, it is going to make Goa a vice capital and its only destroying Goa’s potential to become an ideal international tourist locale. We need ethical tourism which will cater to high-end tourists. We have beautiful landscapes in the Western Ghats, which the UNESCO has recognised as the world heritage site. We need to preserve, protect and promote them as tourism heritage and handing over to posterity. Congress will provide a tourism policy that will take into confidence all the stakeholders who are promoting tourism in the state of Goa so that it will be a win-win situation for all.
Q: How firm are you on the decision to remove casinos from the state?
Before the casinos were introduced in Goa, the state was adjudged as the number one state in all parameters in the country. Naturally, the state is not dependent on the casinos. Definitely when we say casinos are an evil then we have to remove this evil and there will be no compromise on that. Necessary amendments will be brought in to do away with casinos which have ill-effects on our economy (albeit with a difference with Goans squandering their hard-earned money on gambling) and social life.
Q: Will you continue with the sops and doles to the people of Goa?
I don’t know the logic of the present government. On the one hand you make Goa one of the highest taxed states in the country and on the other hand you are giving them the sops. Congress party believes that if the government feels that they have miserably failed in giving succour to the people of Goa then it should come as a matter of right and there should be no need to go to the MLAs. We will rationalise, and if needed, increase the amount, but these facilities should be based on the wholesale index and not at the whims and fancies of the MLAs.