Congress objects to Tourism Policy, terms it disastrous

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Panaji: Congress today said that the draft Tourism Master Plan and Tourism Policy 2018 put in public domain for suggestions is “disastrous for both Goa and Goans.”

The presentation on draft Tourism Master Plan and Tourism Policy 2018 was given to all the MLAs on January 16 by Ajgaonkar, which was attended by only four legislators.

Congress MLA and party spokesman Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco told reporters on Thursday in Margao that he has written letter to State Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar objecting to certain provisions in the Tourism Policy which are disastrous for both Goa and the Goans.

“The report (policy) is silent on the exact income or revenue generated by the tourism industry in Goa and how much of it percolates to local Goans,” Lourenco said.

The Congress leader also said that socio-economic and socio-cultural impact of the master plan or polic has not been assessed.

“How much and type of employment will accrue to local Goans and the extent of in-migration  to fill up the rest has not been studied at all,” he said.

“It is absolutely essential to know the impact of the policy before approving the master plan or the policy,” Lourenco added.

The Congress leader said that draft Tourism Policy encourages privatization of assets of State run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), which is condemnable. “The assets of GTDC were created over last three decades through public funds. These assets cannot be allowed to be passed on to private parties,” said Lourenco.

He also pointed out that while proposing projects like marina at Sancoale village (South Goa), the policymakers have completely ignored the fact that “Chicalim-Sancoale bay is a bio-diversity hotspot being a breeding ground for ‘Window-pane Oysters’ a protected schedule IV species under wildlife act.

Amongst various other objections, Lourenco has also said that the local bodies like Gram Sabha were not taken into confidence while drafting the document.

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