Panaji: All the opposition parties in the state during their meeting with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday demanded that Goa should exempt Goans from paying for their quarantine facility.
The MLAs from Congress led by Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat , Goa Forward Party MLAs led by Vijai Sardesai, Independent lawmaker Rohan Khaunte and NCP Goa Chief Jose Philip D’Souza participated in the all party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday at the backdrop of rising COVID-19 cases.
Emerging from the meeting, Kamat said that the state government never took opposition members into confidence, all this while, but had belatedly thought of evincing the opinion after coronavirus cases have risen historically in the state.
He said that during the meeting, the opposition placed certain demands including exemption of fees for those Goans who are kept in quarantine facilities after their arrival from international destinations as per the Union Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines.
Kamat said that all Goans including those working on different ships should be given free quarantine facility after their return back to the State.
Kamat, who is a former state chief minister, also said that the opposition has demanded financial package to the small time businessmen in the state, who have been adversely hit due to prolonged lockdown in the State.
Another Congress leader and former CM Luizinho Faleiro said that the opposition members demanded that State government should present White Paper on COVID-19 situation in the state.
GFP Chief and former Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai condemned that one of the cabinet minister had announced Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the state, much before opposition members could attend the meeting.
The GFP leader said that the opposition members have demanded that State government should immediately bring back Goans who are stranded abroad and within the country, while banning domestic tourists from entering the state till situation normalizes.
Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte said that the way government is talking about COVID-19 does not indicate that they are serious about it.
He also said that there is no transparency about COVID-19 situation in the state due to which there is panic about the virus.
Khaunte demanded that state government should tie up with all the hospitals and state should have bed inventory. “Also, railway coaches can be used as isolation cases,” he added.