Placing his government somewhere between 7 and 7.5 on the 1 to 10 scale of performance, after reviewing its accomplishments during the past 100 days...
PANAJI: Placing his government somewhere between 7 and 7.5 on the 1 to 10 scale of performance, after reviewing its accomplishments during the past 100 days, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on Friday said that he now intends to fulfil or at least initiate the process of fulfilment for 40 to 50 per cent of the assurances given in the assembly election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party, within the next six months.
He also said that he would like his government to be known as the ‘agriculture-minded’ government.
Stating that he considers reduction of petrol price in the state by abolition of the value added tax on it as his best decision during the past 100 days, the Chief Minister said that he proposes to fulfil all of the assurances of the BJP within the next 2 to 3 years. Mr Parrikar also said that when he took over the state administration, the state exchequer had Rs 200 crore, with Rs 800 crore on the debit side, including Rs 350 to Rs 400 crore linked to the electricity department, Rs 60 to 70 crore linked to the irrigation department, Rs 30 to 35 crore pertaining to the public works department and Rs one to one-and-a-half crore linked to pension. “I, however, have managed to clear most of this debt,” he noted.
Informally chatting with the media on the occasion of completion of 100 days of his government in the office, the Chief Minister said that he has been taking decisions at lightning speed like there was no tomorrow and the same would continue for the next five years. “There is no reason as to why the government decisions should be slowed down,” he added, pointing out that at least 1,600 out of the total 1,800 days of his tenure as the Chief Minister would see him functioning at a fast pace, after which he would go into political retirement.
“I have been able to provide satisfactory, albeit temporary solutions to important issues within 100 days and will now come out with permanent solutions to them within a short span of time,” the Chief Minister said. He further said that although the government policy on the medium of instruction for the primary schools has been out, he awaits the soon-to-be set up state academic council to come out with a permanent solution for the same. “The MoI issue, which had caused a disturbance in the educational field, was a challenge and is still far from being over,” he said, further agreeing to the suggestions of the pressmen of establishing a counselling centre with the department of education for the sake of students, especially those who are moving towards suicide.
The Chief Minister further said that although illegal mining is well under control, the State Mining Policy, which would be out by July 2012 will provide the permanent solution for it. Mr Parrikar also made it clear that he is reluctant to consider new applications for carrying out mining activities, unless such applications have all the legalities in place. “I have already moved a note for shifting the probe about illegal mining to anti-corruption bureau of the state vigilance department due to the vast range and scope of such activities, which requires much more than the normal inquiry,” he observed.
Reacting to the criticism of the politicians by the noted environmentalist, Mr Madhav Gadgil for opposing his report on the Western Ghats, Mr Parrikar said that the Maharashtra and Kerala governments have already opposed the said report. “As it stands, Goa has 38 per cent of forest cover and an additional 10 to 15 per cent of its area is under the costal regulation zone, leaving hardly any space for further development,” he said, pointing out that the environment should not become a point of disruption to the development and economy of the state.
When asked if he is ready to take on the Congress party, which will start its ‘attack’ on him as well as the government after completion of his 100 days in the office, Mr Parrikar counter questioned, “Is the opposition ready to take me on?” Speaking further, the Chief Minister said that he has had no problem replying to the questions from the opposition and always came out with whatever information it needed. “I am of the opinion that in a healthy democracy there needs to be an opposition, but then it is not my responsibility to form one,” he quipped.
Answering another question, the Chief Minister said that he is in possession of a number of reports linked to various bodies such as Apna Ghar, Provedoria (Old Age Home) and so on, and there is an urgent need of taking decisions based on these reports. “However, it would take me at least six months to go through all these reports and reach correct decisions,” he said.
On a parting note, the Chief Minister said that as promised he has not tolerated a single case of corruption during his first 100 days in office and displayed zero tolerance toward corruption. “And then, I have also carried out all basic commitments in the process of setting up of the state Lokayukta,” he maintained, concluding, “People should not perceive that all corruption will end with the setting up of the Lokayukta as it is just one of the tools to fight corruption.”