Local Goa News

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

AAP dares Modi to audit politicos’ assets

Margao: Former law minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti, on Wednesday, challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to conduct an audit of politicians’ assets, prior to their election as a representative in comparison to their present wealth.
Bharti sought that this unaccounted wealth be immediately seized and the politician be jailed.
Addressing an AAP public meeting in Velim, Bharti said citizens are eagerly waiting for the 15 lakh in their bank accounts, as promised by Modi in his election campaign in 2014.

Mintoo’s Goa links escaped probe

PANAJI/PONDA: Security agencies at the central level and in the state never probed the Goa connection of the Khalistani terrorist Harminder Singh Mintoo, who had been arrested by the Punjab police two years ago.
Sources said that it is only after the jailbreak and the subsequent recapture of Mintoo earlier this week in Delhi that the Goa police began a probe to ascertain his Goa links.
Mintoo did not come under the radar of security agencies perhaps because he did not disclose his Goa connection to the police in Punjab at the time of his arrest two years back, said a senior officer on condition of anonymity.

Cong workers rally in Calangute against BJP ‘U-turns’

CALANGUTE: In a show of strength, a large number of people from Calangute led by ex-MLA Agnelo Fernandes and deputy sarpanch of Calangute Joseph Sequeira took part in the Janajagruti Yatra which passed through the Calangute constituency on Wednesday.
Earlier, Congress workers gathered near the Arpora bridge. The yatra started at around 3 pm with many Congress supporters donning T-shirts sponsored by Joseph Sequeira and culminated near the Nerul bridge where a meeting was held and the leaders addressed before moving into Saligao constituency.

Bypass work: Navelim farmers claim no compensation received

NAVELIM: The ongoing work of the western bypass has hit a new controversy with Navelim farmers making claims of not getting compensation and the locals alleging that the PWD has encroached upon their properties to carry out landfilling. However, the work is likely to commence today.
In a day of high drama, the villagers stopped the trucks engaged in dumping mud and called the sarpanch Frank Fernandes at the site. The police also arrived on the scene. However, the villagers, who demanded documents from officials related to landfilling, informed that the contractor called the police after they stopped the trucks.
The police asked the contractor to stop the work till the ongoing issue was resolved.

Govt, banks gear up to make Goa go cashless

Three pronged strategy worked out; info kiosks will instruct people on cashless transactions

PANJIM: “The State of Goa has been chosen to be developed as a model State for evolving into a cashless economy by December 31, 2016,” Chief Secretary R K Srivastava, said on Wednesday, addressing heads of various government departments, corporations, autonomous bodies, government secretaries and bank officials.

Lokayukta warns it will publish MLA names for failure to submit financial details

PANJIM: The Goa Lokayukta on Wednesday warned six MLAs that it would publicise their names in newspapers and take action in accordance with the law on those who have failed to submit details of their assets and liabilities by June 30, which was mandatory as per the ombudsman body’s act (Goa Lokayukta Act).
According to a statement issued by the Institution of the Lokayukta, Francisco Xavier Pacheco (Nuvem), Benjamin Silva (Velim), Atanasio Monserrate (St Cruz), Jennifer Monserrate (Taleigao), Chandrakant Kavalekar (Quepem) and Vishnu Surya Wagh (St Andre) have failed to submit details of their assets and liabilities.

Govt finally issues order to implement 7th pay proposals

PANJIM: The Government on Wednesday finally issued the order for implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations.

PANJIM: The Government on Wednesday finally issued the order for implementation of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. However, the order does not cover judicial and non-judicial office employees functioning in the courts whose pay is governed by orders issued by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice.

RBI, banks take steps to save payday blues

Finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are keeping a close watch as the payday approaches. Viewing the first week of the month as salary time, the central bank has released less cash in the past two days to ensure larger availability from December 1, sources said.

Companies are looking for creative ways to help employees not stand in queues for getting their monthly salaries. The demand for cash cards has gone up by hundreds of thousands.

Monday, November 28, 2016

BJP’s Catholic MLAs asked to clarify stand on I-T notice

MARGAO/PANAJI: Monday saw widespread condemnation of the notice sent by the Income Tax department to the Goa Church authorities for submission of the now-defunct 500 and 1,000 currency notes.
Nuvem MLA Francisco Pacheco alias Mickky on Monday hit out at the BJP government over the demonetization issue and subsequent notices issued by the income tax department to the Church. While he termed the scrapping of the high denomination notes as "dictatorship", he said that the I-T notices reeked of communalism.

Subhash Velingkar urges voters to reject BJP

MARGAO: Former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar has recently exhorted all BJP workers who support the medium of instruction (MoI) in mother tongue to switch over to the Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM), the political outfit launched by the Bhartiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM).
Speaking at the party’s women convention held at Lohia maidan, Margao, Velingkar urged BJP workers not to side with “evil forces” who have committed ‘ matrudroha ’ (treachery against one’s mother). He presented before them the ideals of the mythological characters of Yuyutsu and Vibhishan to drive home his point.

Ashok Naik exits BJP after 25 yrs

PANAJI: Former mayor of Panaji and president of BJP Panaji mandal Ashok Naik resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday.
Naik, who was known for his sincerity in public life, was with the BJP for 25 years. He said he felt completely let down by the BJP over the demand for Marathi to be given official language status.

More mining companies get consent

Panaji: Goa state pollution control board (GSPCB) on Monday granted four more mining companies with a combined iron ore extraction limit of 0.78 million tonnes consent to operate, taking the total ore extraction limit in the state to 16 million tonnes.
The consent granted under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, is valid for a period of one year.

Pacheco hits out at Centre over I-T notice to Church

MARGAO: Criticising the central government over ‘Income  Tax  department officials targeting the  Church in state,’ Nuvem MLA Francis Xavier Pacheco, on Monday, said that the BJP is moving ahead with the only one agenda of Hindutva, and termed it as a major roadblock for the progress of the nation.
Addressing the media, Pacheco said, “I want to know  why only  the Church is targeted by the I-T department, and not other religious institutions. Other religious institutions in Goa are too collecting a lot of money during their  religious activities.’’

Switchover to cashless economy will be slow: banks

PANAJI: There has been a spurt in net banking, online transfer of funds and sale of swipe machines after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.  But bankers have opined that a ‘cashless economy’ as foreseen by the government will take its time.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, several bank officials said the move towards cashless economy can only be a “gradual process” and cannot happen “overnight”.

Daughter grabs Golden Peacock

PANAJI: The Iranian film, ‘Daughter’ – the story of a girl who is exasperated by her father’s authoritarian behaviour – directed by Reza Mirkarimi won the prestigious Golden Peacock award and a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh in the International Competition section at the 47th International Film Festival of India, which concluded in the city on Monday.

Ashok Naik quits BJP

Founder member of party in Goa and former Panjim Mayor says he has been let down by party on language issue

PANJIM: In what could be termed as a major setback to the Bharatiya Janata Party in the State ahead of the 2017 Assembly elections, former Panjim mayor and founder member of the BJP in Goa, Ashok Naik, resigned from the party.

Church submits accounts to I-T

Data of nearly 200-odd churches, including institutions and chapels compiled and uploaded; information given includes number of notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 held on November 8, account balances, cash book copy of all institutions as on November 7, 8 and 9

PANJIM: The Archdiocese of Goa and Daman on Monday confirmed that it has submitted the information sought by the Income Tax (I-T) Department regarding account information and cash balances as well as cash in hand to the department.

Another window for black money holders as govt looks to tweak Income-Tax law

Those having sleepless nights because of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes lying with them have now been given a window by the government, which placed a Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday to tweak the provisions of the Income-Tax (I-T) Act.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Demonetization hits sex workers, procurers work around it

Panaji: Fourteen days into demonetization, as the common man’s finances still remain in a state of flux, the plight of sex workers comes to the fore even as in some cases procurers are finding innovative ways to work around the cash-crunch situation.

Foreign delegate numbers drop at ‘global’ event

Panaji: The International Film Festival of India (Iffi) may be touted as a global event and recognized as one of Asia's largest film festivals, but, unlike most festivals of a similar scale, foreign delegates seem to have given the 47th edition of Iffi a miss.

Citizens wonder if they’ll get cash in hand on pay day

Panaji: Two weeks after banks began to exchange 500 and 1,000 in the aftermath of the demonetization shocker, the state continues to grapple with a severe cash crunch. With days left for employees to be paid, salaried citizens are now wondering whether they will be able to get access to their money or whether it will remain as a mere number in banks.

Multi-tasking staff to get VIth pay perks

Panaji: The state personnel department on Thursday issued an official memorandum to extend benefits of the VIth Central Pay Commission’s recommendations to group ‘D’ workers who have been designated as multi-tasking staff.

Congress woos NRIs with voting rights

NRI Cell petitions Supreme Court seeking voting rights for Non-Resident Goans; Apex Court issues notice to Centre

PANJIM: The Congress’ NRI Global Goan Cell has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking direction to Union Government to grant online or postal ballot voting rights to Non Residents Goans, staying overseas.
Addressing media persons on Thursday, Congress president Luizinho Faleiro said that the Apex Court has issued a notice to the Central government to submit their say within eight weeks. “If Central government cannot grant dual citizenship right to Goans at this stage, we appeal that Non Resident Goans be allowed to exercise their voting right in the upcoming State election,” he said.

BJP wants alliance on own terms, MGP has other ideas

Bicholim, Dabolim remain non-negotiable for both; BJP looks at MGP as junior partner not same level ally; MGP wants alliance but not total subversion

PANJIM: The biggest hurdle in the purportedly completely finalised alliance of the BJP and MGP is not only the seat factor but the attitude factor. The BJP, at this stage is not treating MGP as an ally they need but as a junior partner they are ready to help, equating this with the relationship BJP shares with Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party in Bihar.

Old notes can't be exchanged now; govt likely to levy 60% tax on unaccounted bank deposits

You will not be able to exchange your old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in banks as the government on Thursday stopped the swapping of these currency notes over the counter. However, you will be able to deposit them in your accounts till December 30.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Agonda villagers complain to GCZMA, BDO over illegal structures on beach

CANACONA: Villagers of Agonda are irked over illegal structures including shacks, huts and permanent structures that have dotted the coast of Agonda. Some of the villagers have complained to higher authorities like GCZMA and copies have been submitted to the BDO.

Black money will survive demonetisation, feel builders

PANAJI: Black money in the real estate and housing market is likely to survive the government’s demonetisation move, according to Goa’s builder community.
Speaking to this daily, builders in the state said that the problem “will probably reoccur” and “the government’s move to scrap high denomination currency notes may not get rid of the black money permanently.”

Congress sends out veiled warning to Madkaikar

Panaji: With patience running out, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) on Wednesday issued a veiled warning to Cumbharjua MLA Pandurang Madkaikar with All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Digvijaya Singh saying the party would not fall prey to blackmail or pressure tactics.

‘People have no money to pay for posts’

Panaji: Laxmikant Parsekar-government’s decision to ban recruitments is linked to the demonetization issue and not to the 7th pay commission recommendation, Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) said on Wednesday.
GSM president Anand Shirodkar came down heavily on the state government saying the decision is directly related to shortage of cash in the market.

7,500 delegates at Iffi, but where is the buzz?

PANAJI: Organizers of the 47th International Film Festival of India (Iffi) claim that there are 7,500 delegates present at the festival venues this year, but one look at the festival premises in the capital city or a chat with any delegate is sufficient to believe that the festive atmosphere misses the buzz.
Besides ‘films’ and ‘tickets’, the third most frequently uttered word by delegates at Iffi 2016 is ‘demonetization’.

Retrospective EIA of third Mandovi bridge project not feasible now: SEAC

Expert Committee submits observations and recommendation to State EIA Authority

PANJIM: The Goa State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) conducted a fresh site inspection of the ongoing construction work of the third Mandovi Bridge following directions from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and it is of the view that retrospective environment impact assessment of the project was not feasible at this stage.

Maximum govt: 1 in every 22 Goans a govt servant

Goa has 61,256 employees; State has the highest number of govt employees per person in the country; halting the recruitment process is not enough, govt flab has to be reduced

PANJIM: Every time Goans speak out against the government, they must remember that one in 22 of them serve the very same government they speak against. With over 60,000 government employees and counting, the government is the main provider, its service all that Goans aspire for, their dreams and ambitions lie at its doorstep and above all, for each of the 22, there are 21 who are directly or through their families paying for them.

Counter-offensive: Pakistan blinks, DGMOs speak to each other

Amidst tensions along the LoC, the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan, in an unscheduled hotline interaction, spoke to each other on Wednesday.

This conversation between Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and Major General Sahar Shamshad Mirza took place even as reports on Wednesday stated that the Indian Army had launched a massive retribution offensive to avenge the killing of three soldiers in the Machhal sector of Kupwara.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Parrikar must prove having two airports is viable: GFDO

Margao: Goans For Dabolim Only (GFDO) challenged defense minister Manohar Parrikar ‘to prove to Goans that his recent concrete assurances sans facts and figures that the Dabolim airport would be retained after the Mopa airport became operational is viable and economically feasible’.

‘Turkey is a big centre for Indian film piracy’

PANAJI: Demanding strong legislature against film piracy, actor and BJP politician Vani Tripathi on Tuesday said that weaker laws and failure to control the crime is creating a big hole in filmmakers' pockets.
"Movies are getting pirated within hours of their first screenings and at times, even before that. Turkey is a big centre for this racket as a lot of Indian movies are screened at their film festivals before going elsewhere and thus are sold outside in the open market," Tripathi said, adding that the film industry has to talk in one voice as this is their responsibility.

Goa election likely to be multi-corner fight

Doubts over Arlekar and Tawadkar’s winnability surface in BJP’s internal survey; Porvorim and Savordem on watch list too

PANAJI: The 2017 Goa assembly election is up for a multi-corner fight with the prospects of an alliance of opposition parties looking a distant possibility.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is the keenest in forging the alliance with like-minded parties in the state to keep the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) out of power during the next term of the Goa legislative assembly.

Two ‘minister’ constituencies on BJP’s worry list

Doubts over Arlekar and Tawadkar’s winnability surface in BJP’s internal survey; Porvorim and Savordem on watch list too

PANJIM: While the uneasy and yet to be firmed up alliance with the MGP is one of the urgent boxes the BJP needs to tick, to finalise its preparations for 2017, it has a few worries of its own it needs to sort out.
In the latest internal stock taking of the BJP, the party is looking at its vulnerable constituencies and looking at certain other worrisome areas, in an election where not a single seat can be left to chance. With the latest ground survey having been completed and with their state wide “melavas” – public meetings – taking place, some crucial team changes may be in the offing which could even include a couple of senior ministers in the current Parsekar government, who may be dropped or their seats changed.

Govt acts tough, bans all new recruitments

Also decides to withdraw staff on deputation in various departments and corporations

PANJIM: Following a strike call given by the Goa Government Employees Association over the 7th Pay Commission implementation, the government has decided to act tough and has put a moratorium on all new recruitments in government and government-aided institutions.

Goan cricketer beaten up; assault filmed & circulated on social media

PANJIM: Goan cricketer Gajanan Azgaonkar was brutally attacked by goons in Taleigao and the attack filmed and later circulated on a social media website.

Jammu and Kashmir: 3 soldiers killed, India warns Pakistan of heavy retribution

Shock, anger and outrage gripped the security and political establishment after the suspected Border Action Team (BAT) of Pakistan badly mutilated the body of an Indian Army soldier and killed two others when they ambushed counter-infiltration patrol on the Line of Control (LoC) at Machhal sector of Kupwara district on Tuesday.

Monday, November 21, 2016

And on the 12th day, there was still no ‘change’

Panaji: The panic and queues at banks across the state may seem to have eased, but the ATM shutters remain down, with people still searching for avenues to withdraw valid currency notes. Bankers expect the liquidity crunch to continue for another week till notes in smaller denomination come into circulation.
As banks opened after a day's break today, people rushed to exchange old defunct bills or withdraw cash. Twelve days since the central government demonetized 100 and 500 notes, people still have to stand in queues for hours at ATMs, as most of the cash vending machines are either dysfunctional or running out of cash, due to the huge rush and demand.

Getting married before Dec 30? RBI issues fresh guidelines

Panaji: Couples looking to get hitched and fretting over the massive wedding expenses without a penny in their hand can heave a sigh of relief; that is as long as the wedding is before December 30. With a limit of 2.5 lakh imposed for wedding expenses, only one person will be allowed to withdraw money for the wedding as long as the couple proves that the service providers being paid do not possess a bank account.

Rs 500 notes by Sat

Panaji: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) expects the liquidity crunch to ease over the next fortnight, once the new series of 500 denomination notes come into circulation. The notes had already been printed and had arrived at the RBI’s office at Belapur for distribution.

Kannada filmmaker finds ‘regional’ term second class

Panaji: Raam Reddy, the maker of Kannada film 'Thithi' which has won several international awards since its release this year, said that it makes him unhappy how Indian language films, other than Hindi, are termed regional cinema, despite being Indian language films.

Cops seize Rs 12 lakh cash, hand over 2 businessmen to I-T dept

VALPOI: Valpoi police Monday morning seized cash worth Rs 12,12,000 from a vehicle at Morlem in Sattari taluka suspecting it to be black money and detained two prominent South Goa-based businessmen, who were carrying the cash. The businessmen have been handed over to the income tax (I-T) department for further investigation.

Congress to contest all 40 seats without alliance: Chella Kumar

VASCO: The Goa desk in-charge Dr A Chella Kumar has ruled out forming an alliance with other parties in the state during the forthcoming assembly election. He said that the Congress will contest all the 40 seats without any alliance in the state.

Chodankar warns Parrikar not to make baseless remarks

'Back your statements with facts'
MARGAO: Reacting to accusations made by Manohar Parrikar, Girish Chodankar of the Congress has dared him to initiate inquiries against all the persons who he had alleged have black money and are in trouble because of demonetisation.

Goenchi Mati to support party that accepts its agenda

Claude says mining is single largest source of corruption and root cause of poor governance; says loss is nearly ` 10 lakh per person in the State
PANJIM: The Goenchi Mati movement, backed by NGO Goa Foundation, has decided to extend its support in the 2017 elections to the political party that assures to cancel all iron ore mining leases, have mining taken over by the State government and recover dues from those involved in illegal mining.

Reduce shacks on Bardez’s popular beach stretch: NCSCM

Beach carrying capacity study finds that Baga to Sinquerim stretch has more shacks than it can carry

PANJIM: Shack permissions along the Calangute-Candolim-Baga-Sinquerim stretch have been given for just one season as the beaches have exceeded their carrying capacity.
The National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), which conducted a study of the beach carrying capacity across the State, actually recommended a reduction in the number of beach shacks along these beaches for the current tourism season.

Demonetization: RBI gives borrowers extra 60 days to repay home, car loans up to Rs 1 Cr

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed both individuals and companies with loans up to Rs 1 crore an additional grace period of 60 days to repay their loans in the wake of the demonetization.

This is applicable for ongoing loans where the dues are payable between November 1 and December 31, 2016.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Alina reiterates demand for special status

VASCO: Minister for Science and Technology Alina Saldanha has said that she is still pursuing the demand of special status category for Goa and is fully supporting Goa’s Movement for Special Status (GMSS).
Saldanha was speaking to media in Vasco on Monday along with Cortalim BJP president Joel Fernandes, general secretary Narayan Naik, treasurer Sameer Bhagat, BJP state executive committee member Maruti Dessai, Cortalim BJP Yuva Morcha president Achut Naik and Cortalim BJP Mahila Morcha president Serafina Gonsalves.

32-yr-old clothes trader held with Rs 1.65 lakh ganja

PANAJI: Porvorim police has arrested a 32-year-old clothes trader from Kolhapur Maharashtra and seized ganja worth Rs 1.65 lakh during a raid conducted on Wednesday at Porvorim.
The accused Pradip Mhetar was caught red handed with 1.65 kilo ganja worth around Rs 1.65 lakh informed Porvorim police station in-charge Jivba Dalvi.

Make film profit ratio 50:50, say Goa filmmakers

Panaji: Demanding an equal share in the profit of their film’s release, members of the Goa Film Finance Action Committee said that the ratio of profit offered by theatres in the state must be increased. Currently, filmmakers get only 30% of the share while theatres get 70%.

PWD minister flays GSIDC, Sidharth left embarrassed

Panaji: In recent times, there have been talks of differences cropping up between alliance partners Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP).
The rift was there for all to see on Wednesday at the public works department’s (PWD) event at Altinho, between MGP leader Ramakrishna Dhavalikar alias Sudin and BJP’s Panaji MLA Sidharth Kuncalienker.
Kuncalienker, who is vice-chairperson of Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC), was taken aback when Dhavalikar constantly picked on the corporation in his presence and in full public view, without any apparent provocation.

‘Dress appropriately to visit religious places’

PANAJI: Implementing a dress code at the Basilica of Bom Jesus for scantily-clad tourists has run into unforeseen problems, but church authorities have changed tack to ensure sanctity within the holy precincts.
Signposts requesting tourists to be suitably dressed came up three years ago, as parishioners were getting increasingly offended by the skimpy attire.

AITUC protests hiring of new staff at PWD

PANAJI: Members of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) are protesting the decision to recruit new staffers at the public works department (PWD), and on Tuesday they submitted a memorandum to the chief minister, the chief engineer — PWD and the state chief secretary.

Sudin confirms alliance with BJP

PANJIM: PWD Minister Ramkrishna (Sudin) Dhavalikar on Wednesday confirmed that Maharastrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) will continue its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2017 Assembly elections.

CM: Pay panel implementation likely before code of conduct

Rules out paying November salary to government servants in cash

PANJIM: A day after government employees threatened to march to the Secretariat demanding a rise in pay scale, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Wednesday said that efforts are on to implement the 7th pay commission recommendations from December, before the election code of conduct for the 2017 Assembly polls comes into force.

Terror financiers feel the heat in Kashmir

Intelligence sleuths and counter-terrorism cops are working overtime to gauge the effect of demonetization on the financing of terror and unrest in the militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces are signalling that the finances to terror and civil unrest are showing signs of drying up.

"I have nothing to say, only financial experts can say on this…Common sense says it should benefit (in curbing the financing of anti-national activities). Time only will tell," SP Vaid, special director general of police, law and order, Jammu and Kashmir told DNA.