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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Goa MLAs, ministers to fund their trip to Brazil

Agencies  New Delhi, June 13, 2014
First Published: 12:07 IST(13/6/2014) | Last Updated: 15:24 IST(13/6/2014)

Amid a controversy over the Brazil trip of Goa ministers and MLAs on the government's expense, the state's fisheries minister Avertano Furtado said on Friday the delegation will personally bear the expense for the tour.

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The Goa government's decision to organise a Rs. 89 lakh-junket for six ruling legislators, including three ministers, to witness the Fifa World Cup in Brazil was criticised from all quarters.

Sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar, Furtado, power minister Milind Naik and MLAs Carlos Almeida, Glen Ticlo (both from the BJP) and Benjamin Silva (Independent MLA supporting the state government) are part of the Goa government's junket which leaves for Brazil on July 1 to watch the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the World Cup.

Financial sanction for the group, which includes neither officials, nor players or sports administrators was accorded first by the sports minister and subsequently by Parrikar himself, officials said.

The Congress as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa criticised the junket.

Former Indian skipper and Sports Authority of Goa's joint director (training) Bruno Coutinho said he was shocked and hurt because his name was first included in the list and was later dropped.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not come on record on the issue, Silva, one of those on the junket said the file was cleared by the chief minister himself.

"The chief minister told us to go to Brazil and take a look," he said. Responding to a query on public funds being used for the junket, Silva said: "Public funds are used for everything."

The Goa government is currently facing a fiscal crisis because of more than one-year-long mining ban. While the ban was removed only a couple of months back, mining has still not resumed in the state.

(With IANS inputs)


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