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KPMG to be probed over draft tourism policy



Tourism Minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar on Wednesday assured the state legislative assembly that he would initiate an inquiry against M/s KPMG Advisory Services Pvt Ltd, a Mumbai-based consultancy firm, following allegations by legislators of the treasury as well as Opposition benches that there are irregularities in the preparation work of the draft Goa tourism policy 2018, which was entrusted to the particular agency.

However, Azgaonkar could not provide the deadline for completing the work for preparation of this draft policy, which had started in 2014.

Earlier, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Alina Saldanha alleged that the agency has locked the draft policy, with the inclusion of certain Goan villages in the same as tourism villages, without consulting the stakeholders.

She also pointed out that the representative of the consultant firm refused to provide the names of these villages as well as criteria followed for selecting these villages by citing the reason that the draft policy is now locked.

Another BJP MLA Glenn Ticlo said the consultancy firm, which was paid Rs 3 crore by the government, has carried out “a cut-paste job from the other states

without applying the mind” while preparing the draft policy.

Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai questioned the rationale behind having provision for Goa tourism board in the draft policy.

“What is the reason behind having yet another tourism authority when the government already has tourism department and Goa Tourism Development Corporation,” he added, alleging that this would only result in duplication of work, and money would be paid for the same work on two or more occasions.

Sardesai also demanded that an inquiry should be conducted in the conduct of the consultant company.

Participating in the discussion, Azgaonkar said the Goa tourism policy would be formed keeping in mind the environmental concerns of the state. He also lamented that the MLAs were not showing keen interest in giving suggestions for the policy, despite inviting them to do so.

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