The CM says 80% reservations for Goans in industries cannot stand the test of law. First pass the law and show us how Goemkarponn you are. Jennifer Monserrate says it's a major policy decision; how is helping ethnic Goans that? Have not BJP govts broken environment rules defying Central regulations, their own regulatory laws while licensing big building constructions ? Did Parrikar not mock the SC order banning bars on national highways, by converting certain sections into State ones?

July 30, 2019

Lionel Messias

Is the government serious about giving jobs to Goans, and by Goans, I mean ethnic Goans and not the current residence period requirement theory which the political class is attempting to force on us? In short, it’s the DNA that matters, and not how long a person has lived in Goa. That’s another story altogether. This is what the government and the political class can do for true blue Goans.

Last week the Andhra Pradesh government passed the AP Employment of Local Candidates in Industries/Factories Bill 2019 that provides 75per cent jobs to locals.  Noticeably for AP it has a chief minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, whose loyalty to his people shames Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. Earlier the former approved a project to establish Skill Development Centres with the help of industrialists in engineering colleges in all 25 Parliament Constituencies. By contrast, industrialists in Goa especially the tourism industry are permanently in demand mode, never in giving mode. For example if industrialists in the Verna industrial estate alone dipped just their index finger into their deep pockets, much can be done for the ethnic Goan. Not happening!

Run the gauntlet Mr Sawant

With a lot of help from Sawant who said in the Assembly: "We have to accept the Indian Constitution and 80 per cent reservations for Goans in industrial employment cannot stand the test of law." Here’s the deal: Mr Sawant, first pass the law and show us how Goemkarponn you are, Goans will deal with the legality later. Either way it’s a win-win situation for you because you’ll have bragging rights to say "I told you so".

Contrary to Sawant's words of wisdom, this is what the AP CM said in his Legislative Assembly: "The industry should take care of locals who had given up land and should increase the perimeter as and when the scale of industry increases. As locals accept the vagaries of industrialization, they should be given first preference and our government's policy is to promote industries and provide employment to our youth."

Differing strikingly again, the Labour and Employment Minister Jennifer Monserrate pleaded that she had to consult the CM, it being a major policy decision; but the AP Industries Minister Mekapati Gowtham Reddy bravely said: "Developed nations like the US and UK are talking in terms of jobs to locals and are taking steps to match social wellness with jobs and we cannot be different." Goanspirit asks how is helping ethnic Goans, a major policy decision?
Gist of the AP Bill: 1. 75 pc reservation in employment in industries that would come up either in the Public Sector or in the Public Private Partnership (PPP). People who forego their land for the development of industries will be given first preference along with locals (surely this is not against the Indian Constitution?)
2. The Skill Development Centres will train locals to meet standards of the industry if there is a dearth of candidates in the required measure. A three-year buffer period is a part of the Bill to train locals. If workers are not available to meet expected standards, industries can write to the government and seek exemption.
And a reminder from Goanspirit: Have not successive BJP governments broken every environment rule defying Government of India notified regulations, have they not broken their own regulatory laws while licensing big building constructions across the length and breadth of Goa? Did the Parrikar government not make a mockery of the Supreme Court order banning bars on National Highways, by converting certain sections into State Highways?

TTAG’s bizarre demands

The latest from the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) whose members or stakeholders as they like to call themselves, is a demand for government to build facilities for low-budget domestic tourists who come in their busloads and private vehicles. The idea I am told is to create an exclusive parking zone for them like the caravan camping sites abroad. Two things, if you own land around the north Goa coastal tourist belt, be warned that the government could acquire your land, no sweat.
It also begs the question. Are transporting gas cylinders from one state to another even legal or is TTAG not bothered? Also, what good will it do to Goa economy's if tourists come here and cook their own food, get miserly about booze (let's face it most busloads are men who come here without wives and children just to get high) and hotel rooms (because the great outdoors beckons and Modi’s ODF be hanged).  
The good news is this ill-judged idea won't work. It can't. If the area picked is around Sinquerim, the Taj Fort Aguada will fight it tooth and nail, and will win. The same goes for Candolim but low budget tourists don't have the free-for-all freedom they enjoy in Calangute-Baga, there. Cross that box too. They prefer Colva in the south and the Calangute-Baga stretch. Next, Saligao or the interiors of Baga itself. Anywhere further could be Parra, a foolish decision admittedly. That would be inconceivable because the sarpanch of Parra is Delilah Lobo, wife of the Calangute MLA Michael Lobo.
Worst case scenario if the parking zone actually works out in these places. Will these vehicles be prevented from exiting the zone enroute for Baga-Calangute, so that tourists grab as many beer cans as they can manage and dive into the sea, cook their own food anyway? Cock a snook (as illustrated in our lead picture) which is what all classes of tourists do anyway in Goa. Question is, if the vehicles are not allowed to exit, will TTAG then demand that these cheap tourists be transported to Calangute-Baga by the government? Because like homing bees this class of tourists has that distinctive ability. And sources tell me, these buses and mini-vans are hired from the same agencies in whichever states they arrive from, which means drivers know exactly where to go.