Panaji, Jan 25 (PTI) The Goa government has sought clarification from South Goa District Collector Jyoti Kumari over a circular that had asked for a contribution from the staff for an event to be held on January 26, after facing criticism from the Opposition.
State Revenue Minister Atanasio Monserratte told reporters on Wednesday, “I have asked on what basis the circular was issued. You cannot issue such a circular,” the minister said.
Opposition parties had slammed the state government over the circular that asked for a contribution of Rs 1,000 each from the staff for an event on January 26.
While Collector Jyoti Kumari has said it is not a Republic Day programme, Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai has hit out at Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and his cabinet, claiming they have drained the treasury and now government functions have to be funded by "contributions".
The circular dated January 19 said “an event is being organised by the Collectorate of South Goa on January 26, 2023 at Matanhy Saldanha Administrative Complex ground followed by Republic Day Function”.
“All the permanent staff and officers who are willing shall contribute Rs 1,000 each for making this event a grand success,” it said.
The collector also mentioned the names of two officials who were directed to collect the amount from all the willing staff and officers including subordinate offices by January 20.
Reacting to the circular, GFP chief Sardesai said in a tweet, “CONTRIBUTION OR EXTORTION? Has @GovtofGoa gone totally bankrupt to pickpocket govt staff to organise a #RepublicDay function? The mega events done to prop up @DrPramodPSawant and his cabinet have drained the treasury, and now govt functions have to be funded by 'contributions'!” Aam Aadmi Party’s Goa president Amit Palekar also slammed the state government. He had tweeted, “You have all the money in the world to waste on events organised with exorbitant expenses and corrupt practices @goacm but for celebrating Republic Day you want to collect funds from public servants? Shame on you.” However, the collector said the funds were being collected as a part of an event to help childcare institutions and old-age homes.
“To clarify, this program is not Republic Day 2023.On Liberation day of 2019, Collectorate voluntarily contributed to organise a program for Child care institutions & old age homes in 2020,21 & 22, due to covid, same was not (to) be conducted & is being organised this year,” the South Goa collector's Twitter handle said. PTI RPS GK NR NR NR