Local Goa News

Friday, July 29, 2016

Govt under fire over transfer of building to BJP MLA’s NGO

PANAJI: The Opposition MLAs on Friday cornered the government for violating guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission and handing over the building of the old primary health centre at Sankhali to a non-government organisation, SAI Life Care, with  Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Pramod Sawant as its chairman, for running the Sai Nursing Institute, without carrying out the mandatory auction/ tendering exercise.

Earlier, Congress MLA Vishwajit Rane, who has asked a related question, charged the government of violating all the rules and regulations for allocating the government premises to a ruling party legislator.
Justifying the decision, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said  the government has not looked at the particular premises from the economical point of view, but taken the decision to hand it over to an NGO for training nurses, in good faith, and the government can take endorsement from the cabinet to regularise the particular decision.
“As the members of the House understands, the state is experiencing dearth of nurses and anyone training nurses here is always welcome,” he added, pointing out that the public works department was directed to carry out valuation of the premises, and assess the rent to be charged from the NGO.
Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza, who also holds the health portfolio, said the government had earlier given its premises to NGOs for non-commercial purpose, such as handing over a government premises at Mapusa to Astha and another one at Valpoi to Keshav Seva Sadhana, both used as schools for differently-abled children.
“If the Opposition desires to auction these places, then it could be done,” he added, quipping that handing over a government premises for non-commercial venture is not a scam, however trying to hand over the Goa Medical College Hospital to Elbit India Hospitals Ltd, (EIH), an Israeli company, is definitely a scam.
Rane, when he was the health minister in the erstwhile Congress government, had tried to ink an agreement between the state government and the Israeli company to set up state-of-the-art hospital at Bambolim near Goa Medical College and Hospital, on a 10,000 sq mts land, to be given on lease for a period of 60-years.
It was informed that the old building at Sankhali with an area of 136.29 sq mts has been leased out to SAI Life Care, for a period of five years, on a monthly rent of Rs 10,910 as fixed by the public works department.
Margao MLA Digambar Kamat  said the issue does not pertain to giving a government premises for non-commercial venture, but is about a government premises given by violating all guidelines, upon which D’Souza said that if need be, then the state cabinet can also formulate guidelines for the same.
Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco termed the government action of allotting its premises to a ruling party legislator as ‘conflict of interest’, while the Deputy Chief Minister said that there would have been conflict of interest if two people had competed for the premises, and ruling party legislator had got it.
Independent MLA from Fatorda Vijai Sardesai said that no related guidelines can be formulated by the government as the Competition Commission of India and the Competition Act, 2003 supersedes all related state laws and guidelines.
“And therefore, by giving away a government premises without following tendering or auction process, you are violating the Indian national law,” he noted.
Panaji MLA Sidharth Kunkalienkar brought to the notice of the House that years ago, a sprawling government premises of Goa Medical College located at Ribandar was handed over to the Goa Institute of Management on lease for Rs 1.

NT Network Goa News

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