Local Goa News

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Opposition stages walkout over ‘failure’ of e-assembly concept

PANAJI: “Exposing” the failure of the e-assembly concept, opposition MLAs on Wednesday demanded that the Speaker Anant Shet revert back to old system, wherein the legislators were provided with hard copies of answer-sheets in response to their starred and un-starred questions posed to various ministers.

They later staged a walkout and remained absent during the entire Question Hour, after the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar stated that the government has succeeded in making the assembly go paperless, and it would not be proper to revert back to the old system of providing hard copies of answers to legislators.
Earlier, before the commencement of the Question Hour, Margao MLA Digambar Kamat brought to the notice of the House that the “site where questions and answers were displayed was down since yesterday,” and that he could not get access to it. “I also called the legislature secretary, this morning to inform him about it,” he added, maintaining that the questions are also randomly transferred from one department to other, and further starred questions, for unknown reasons, are converted into un-starred questions.
Leader of the Opposition Pratapsing Rane stated that the online business of the assembly is not functioning, and the House should revert back to old system, until the e-assembly concept is set right. He also mentioned that the annexure linked to various questions are also missing, adding that the MLAs are being paid through the public funds to work in the assembly, and their time should not be wasted.
Admitting that the e-assembly concept is yet to catch up, Parsekar said that the government is not trying to skip any question deliberately adding, “If any question is transferred to another department or converted from starred to un-starred category, then the MLAs can raise the issue discussed in the particular question, during their address on demands for grants, or through calling attention motions. There are some grey areas, due to which the questions are transferred from one department to another.”
Parsekar also maintained that the questions asked by the legislators to a particular department, needs the permission of the Chief Secretary for their diversion to another department, to which the independent Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardesai took strong objection, stating that it is the prerogative of the legislators to ask question to any department, and the Chief Secretary has no business in it. He said that the Chief Secretary be summoned to the House as he is giving wrong information.
Sardesai also quipped that the government should issue a notification as regards which issue should be discussed in the House and which issues should not be. Nuvem MLA Francisco ‘Mickky’ Xavier Pacheco asked the Speaker to supply hard copies of answers to the MLAs, or else close the ongoing session of the assembly.
Panaji MLA Sidharth Kunkalienkar said that his question has been disallowed, while the Speaker informed him that it has been already answered on July 27.
Deputy Speaker Vishnu Wagh stated that the undersecretaries quote the name of the Chief Secretary and unabashedly transfer the questions asked by the MLAs from one department to another.
Finally, the Chief Minister stated that the government is ready to answer all question from all MLAs, and has no intention to hide anything. He also agreed that hard copy of answer should be provided to the particular MLA, who has asked the respective question.
Kamat stated that there is infringement on the rights of the legislators, while the Leader of the Opposition questioned as to why only one MLA, who has asked the particular question should be allowed to have the hard copy. Rane also urged the government not to make ‘paperless assembly’ a prestige issue.

NT Network Goa News

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