On Reduction of Casino Entry Fees
Some people have raised doubts about the reduction of entry fees to onshore and offshore casinos from `2000 to `500. Most people think this will encourage gambling in the casinos. However,
I am of the opinion that the chief minister has got it right. He is well aware of the ground realities. He is aware that the attendance at casinos cannot be monitored and hence it results in revenue leakage. The casinos might not even charge an entry fee. Casinos do not make their money from entry fees it is in the amount of money that an individual gambles away that matters. Casinos may charge an entry fee of `2000 and then they can well afford to refund the same by way of issuing free the same amount in chips. So having a high entry fee of
`2000 will not deter people from entering a casino. On the other hand by increasing the licence fee from `15 lakh to `2.5 crore will definitely discourage onshore casinos from mushrooming. The Chief Minister intends by some mechanism which is still to be decided to restrict Goan youth from entering the casinos. If we argue that our youth will indulge in gambling in casinos and hence we should close down casinos by the same yardstick we should close down bars and liquor shops because liquor has destroyed more youth and families.
D C DIAS, Taleigao
Hike in Attestation Charges Regrettable
A notification issued by the newly-formed BJP government in the state to raise the fees for attestation of documents for processing Portuguese passports from the existing `100 per document to `200 is highly regrettable. Many of the applicants for Portuguese passports have pledged family jewellery and taken loans so that they can obtain passports and be able to seek a way to make a better living. It will therefore be unfair to thousands of Portuguese passport applicants in Goa to bear additional burden when their counterparts in Mumbai and the Union territory of Daman and Diu, which were Portuguese colonies, do not pay any fees. It would be in the fitness of things for the chief minister to refrain from levying charges that will burden the common man.
PETER FIGUEIREDO, Taleigao
Special Treatment at Religious Places
It is a fact that God treats all human beings as equals. But are we all treated as equal in front of God? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. In a recent incident at a temple, where hundreds of people had to wait for hours outside just because a politician had come to pay obeisance at the temple, has brought to fore the issue of celebrities, influential businessmen and ministers getting priority and special treatment at various religious places across all religions in India. There are many instances that prove this inequality. Such incidents are common in star-struck India, where each time a celebrity sets out on a spiritual quest, the common man either has to wait in endless lines or sometimes literally faints at the impossibility of the whole situation. This discrimination occurs only in India. In other parts of the world no special treatment or any special privilege is given to anyone. At the most, bodyguards surround the special devotees, but the normal proceedings are never disrupted because of any special guest. This is how it should be in India too. The sooner we do away with this special brand of ‘star worship’ in India the better.
AMJAD MARUF, Thane