The Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on Sunday opposed conversion of agricultural land and emphasised that whatever the Opposition might say he would ensure during his tenure that farmland is not converted for non-agricultural purposes.
Speaking as the chief guest at inauguration of beautification works at Parra, which is part of Calangute constituency, the Chief Minister dwelt upon the welfare measures brought about by his government.
He said that these schemes would certainly benefit the Goans.
“Initially we brought down petrol price, and thereafter we kept on launching various schemes. Now, we have introduced the pass system for bus commuters… All these schemes are relief measures by which Goans are definitely going to benefit. A lot is being done with regards to distributing financial aid through our schemes and there has never been any bias based on religion,” he observed.
Taking a dig at the opposition, Mr Parrikar said the Opposition cannot see any good and keep on criticising the government for no reason and without any substance. He urged the people to be vigilant and see for themselves what was happening now and what had happened earlier.
Maintaining that he would deal with an iron hand against all corrupt elements, Mr Parrikar said that they would have to face the music for any wrongdoings.
Allaying fears in the minds of the people that the economy of the state was not sound, Mr Parrikar said that no schemes or any development work would be held up due to money as he knew how to raise funds, and bank borrowings would be repaid. He said that if at all there was any financial problem it was because of the previous regime.
Mounting a scathing attack on vested interests trying to spread rumours about the regional plan, the Chief Minister said that a proper regional plan would be put in place. No paddy fields would be converted and that was his assurance to the people of Goa.
The Tourism Minister, Mr Dilip Parulekar said that it was a good sign that people were donating land for a good cause at Parra, advising the people of Saligao to take a cue from this.
The Calangute MLA, Mr Michael Lobo said that with the support of the Chief Minister he was going ahead in developing his constituency and after Calangute he has now come to his own village of Parra.
Prominent dignitaries, including landowner Ms Maria Georgina Souza e Costa, Fr Roland Carvalho, Mr Joseph Sequeira, Mr Gurudas Shirodkar, Ms Sushma Nagvekar, Ms Anna Marie D’Souza, Ms Delaila Lobo, ZP member, Mr Prakash Naik and Ms Geeta Parab, were also present. [NT]