The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) at its meeting on Wednesday demanded that the state government prepares and submits a white paper on the Covid-19 issue and how they have responded to the pandemic as well as call a special assembly session on the same issue. They have also demanded an immediate financial package to be released to those affected due to the lockdown and to do away with charges for quarantine and Covid tests of Goans returning to the state.
Addressing the media after a meeting in Margao, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said the members of the CLP were of the opinion that the people of the state needed to get details of how the government was responding to the pandemic.
“Today our meeting was mainly to discuss the situation that has come about due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The members have decided that there is a need for a white paper on Covid-19 to be prepared. It should detail the entire situation including details of the cases, how the government is supplying food to the migrant workers, how the funds that were collected are being spent so everyone is aware of what is happening in the state,” he said.
Poriem MLA Pratapsingh Rane added that a special assembly session should also be called. “There should be an immediate assembly session called, for four or five days so we can raise and discuss all the problems faced by Goans in the state and outside. Let the government answer the questions so even the people know what is going on,” he said.
Kamat who was joined by Rane, Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourenco, Ponda MLA Ravi Naik and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro also raised the issue of Goans being charged for quarantine and tests.
“The government had initially stated that Goans would not be charged for testing or quarantine. This is the correct policy. However Goan seafarers and those returning to the state have been charged for quarantine and testing. There seems to be a change in the policy every two days because of which everyone is confused,” said Kamat.
Further speaking on the issue, Lourenco added that there were many other Goans that needed to be brought back to the state. “Many more Goans are stuck in the Gulf and other countries where their visas have expired. The government needs to identify these people and bring them back. Why not use the relief fund to bring them back?”
“It has been 65 days since I first wrote to the centre about NRIs, seafarers and others stranded but till today, they have not been brought back. Give us a timetable and a roadmap as to how you plan on bringing them back,” said Faleiro.