Three out of four legislators from Goa have finally paid up the bill of their junket for the Fifa World Cup 2014 after their efforts to resist clearing of dues drew severe flak from media.
While state Fisheries minister Avertano Furtado, BJP legislator Glenn Ticlo and independent MLA Benjamin Silva have paid Rs 15 lakh each to the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) for the trip, another BJP MLA, Carlose Almeida, has sought more time to settle his dues.
The World Cup trip was initially sponsored by the state but later withdrawn following outburst in the media.
"Three legislators have paid the entire amount. We have received letter from fourth one seeking more time to pay which we have granted," said a senior SAG official.
Interestingly, the state-run SAG had last week written to chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, seeking his suggestions after the MLAs concerned continued ignoring notices served on them for payment of expenses.
The legislators had originally been scheduled to travel on a state-sponsored tour to Brazil, but agreed to pay their own bill owing to criticism in media.
The politicians were allowed to go with the instructions that they would pay back the expenses from their personal coffers.
Their tour evoked sharp criticism as it came at a time when the coastal state was struggling to manage its finances following ban on the mining sector.
The then chief minister Manohar Parrikar had announced formulation of foreign tour policy for its ministers,legislators and officers.
Parrikar had said the state-level committee, headed by chief secretary, will screen the applications for foreign tours before approving them.