Khaunte demands ‘Action Taken Report’ from CM over ‘assurances’

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NT NETWORK
Panaji
Demanding that the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should table an Action Taken Report (ATR) about his assurances given in the State Legislative Assembly during the monsoon session of the House, as well as present a White Paper on the financial status of the government, during the forthcoming budget session of the Assembly, the Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte, on Friday, said that the government intends to misuse the forthcoming assembly session to its advantage.
Addressing a press conference in the city, the Porvorim MLA said that the system of draw of lots, for allocating legislative assembly questions to the respective legislators, has been misused by the government through “excellent floor management.”
“The questions submitted by many of the opposition MLAs including myself have been placed at fifth, sixth or seventh position, every day, thus ensuring that we will not get the opportunity to raise them,” he alleged stating that a mechanism has been worked out in which only the MLAs of the ruling party would get a chance to ask questions.
Speaking further, Khaunte said that the government refrained from convening the winter session of the Assembly, and has now convened a limited five-day budget session of the House, which is a mere formality and eyewash, and against the very observation of the former chief minister Manohar Parrikar that the Assembly is a temple of democracy and all issues related to the state as well as the constituencies need to be debated in it.
“Today, the government is leaving no scope for the opposition to participate in such debate,” he mentioned, alleging that the government has no answers to the questions from the opposition.
The Independent MLA also said that the Chief Minister had not fulfilled any of the many assurances given by him during the monsoon session of the Assembly.
“Furthermore, the financial condition of the state is pathetic with government crossing the borrowing mark of Rs 2,000 crore, and is all set to borrow an additional Rs 561 crore,” he added, pointing out that this loan in the form of capital borrowings is not spent on capital works but on revenue expenditure such as salaries of the government employees.”
Khaunte also said that Michael Lobo, a cabinet minister, instead of appealing to the people to stop selling their agricultural lands to non-Goans, should ensure passage of two Bills in the assembly, which are already introduced and waiting for their passage.
“These Bills namely Ban on Sale of Agricultural Land to Non-agriculturists Bill and Contractual Farming Bill had gone to the law department for their legal vetting,” he maintained, stating that the Contractual Farming Bill, which was designed by the department of agriculture along with his department, during his tenure as the revenue minister, was supposed to ensure that ownership of the land is not lost even when it is given for contractual farming purpose.
The Porvorim MLA also stated that the travellers, especially, those from his constituency, who travel on the Atal Setu on the Porvorim side face many difficulties and if the same are not taken care of by February 5, then the people of Porvorim would take action as deemed fit.