Reacting to the announcement made by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that the state government would spend Rs 100 crore on hosting year-long activities to mark 60 years of Goa’s Liberation, leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat on Saturday urged Sawant to first consider releasing Rs 100 crore as an ‘economic revival package’ for the marginalised sector.
In a statement issued here, Kamat stated that the real tribute to freedom fighters, who sacrificed their lives and fought for the Liberation of Goa will be by helping the needy and not incurring huge expenditure on celebrations.
“Goa government is on a borrowing spree with almost Rs 100 crore borrowed every week. This attitude goes with the famous Konkani saying ‘Rin kadun fest karop’. The BJP government has an obsession for celebrations. The insensitive government remained in virtual mode celebrations and organised ‘taali bajao – diya jalao’ events when the entire country was under lockdown and when people are suffering,” reads the statement.
“It is important that the Chief Minister first releases Rs 100 crore as an economic revival package to liberate the marginalised sector from the huge financial burden and losses suffered by them due to the outbreak of COVID pandemic and collapse of the economy,” it reads further.
Alleging that the BJP-led government has pushed the state into complete bankruptcy and financial emergency, Kamat reiterated the Congress party’s demand for release of a White Paper on issues afflicting the state including Mhadei, the three linear projects, coal handling, COVID pandemic and the financial situation of the state.
Meanwhile, raising strong objection to the state government’s decision to seek Rs 100 crore from the Centre to host year-long activities to mark 60 years of Goa’s Liberation, the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) Saturday urged the government to use the funds for the poor and needy people including students.
Questioning the need to spend the huge amount of money to celebrate 60 years of Goa’s liberation when the state is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, GSM youth wing president Nitin Faldessai said, “It will be a wrong decision to seek Rs 100 crore to host the celebrations.”
Addressing a press conference in Vasco, he said, “The state government should come out clearly on the programmes to be organised and where it will spend the Rs 100 crore.”
“I will suggest to the state government to utilise the funds for the poor and needy people whose financial condition is weak. These funds should be spent on borrowing tabs and other electronic devices for students who really need them. The state government should think twice before borrowing funds from the central government, as the state government is facing severe financial crisis due to the COVID situation,” he said.
“We are proud of the freedom fighters, who have sacrificed their lives and also those who are living. The government should first concentrate on providing financial help to the deserving people. The funds can also be spent on providing facilities to the people for medication, education and other requirements,” said Faldessai and advised the government to chalk out the programmes to be hosted after the COVID-19 crisis ends.