Indian Ambassador to Portugal, Nandini Singla visits Goa Chamber
HE Ms K Nandini Singla, Indian Ambassador to Portugal called on the office bearers and members of Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry to discuss possibilities of enhancing economic ties between Portugal and Goa and also with rest of the country.
She was welcomed at the Chamber by President Sandip Bhandare and was briefed about the economic profile of the State and also the history of Goa Chamber. During the interactions that followed, it was decided to systematically work on increasing the tourist traffic between Portugal and Goa. Members felt that the Holy Shrine of Fatima is a big attraction for the devout among the Goan Christians as well as Hindus and similarly there is a lot of interest among the Portuguese people to visit the erstwhile Portuguese colonies. Towards improving the connectivity between Goa and Lisbon, it was decided to tap various airlines who are operating in this segment. It was also decided to explore possibility of hosting travel writers and tour operators from Portugal and Goa on reciprocal basis to give better coverage for tourism potential in both countries. It was pointed out to the Ambassador that there is lot of interest among Goan students to pursue higher studies in Lisbon and Coimbra Universities, but they are facing lot of difficulties in getting long term student visas and stay permits. Singla assured to look into the matter. The Ambassador also pointed out that Portugal is now emerging as one of the best centres for Technology Startups with many world level Start-up events happening there all the year round. She was particularly happy to know that the Start-up culture is also taking roots in Goa and was briefed about the mentoring programme conducted by Google for Goa Start-ups in collaboration with Goa Chamber.
The meeting was also addressed by office bearers of the Chamber Manoj Caculo, Ralph de Sousa and Chandrakant Gawas.
TTAG along with HRAWI conducts workshops for F&B staff
Training of personnel in Food Business is a pre-requisite for ensuring food safety and hygiene. With this in mind,
TTAG along with Hotel & Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI) and FSSAI jointly conducted two workshops for the F&B staff of star hotels in Goa.
Both workshops were very well attended and the qualified candidates are now certified to conduct similar workshops for other F&B staff of member hotels. FSSAI faculties from Delhi are conducting these courses around the country and for the first time TTAG were able to hold these courses in Goa; which were very much appreciated by the participants. The participation in Goa was very promising as the TTAG had 37 participants each in both North Goa held at the Double Tree by Hilton, Arpora and Heritage Village Club Arossim, Goa.
HRAWI and TTAG also held a meeting to strengthen the ties and cooperation to address common challenges like GST.
The courses were held at Heritage Village club and Double Tree By Hilton. Dilip Datwani President of HRAWI, Pradeep Shetty, Hon. Secretary HRAWI and Chairman FSSAI Matters Sub Committee, Pasupathy, Pilot Faculty (FSSAI), TTAG President Savio Messias, Past President Francisco Braganza, Bonnie Avelili and Guitry Velho were present.
‘Goa State Co-op Bank suffers loss of around RS 68 crore’
The Goa State Cooperative Bank Limited has suffered a loss of around Rs 68 crore, which piled up as the bank waived interest of Rs 30 crore on loans obtained by mining dependents.
In a bid to reduce the management cost further, the apex bank is now planning to merge five of its loss-making branches and give voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to 125 surplus staff, said GSCB chairman Ulhas Phaldessai.
By giving VRS to 125 surplus staff, the bank expects to reduce management cost by around Rs 7 to Rs 8 crores, Phaldessai said adding that efforts were on to reduce the loss by 50 per cent by recovering pending loans of Rs 22 crore by the end of the current fiscal year.
According to Phaldessai, the present losses are purely on account of provisions and there is no cash loss similarly, the capital infusion from the government is also to fulfill the criteria for capital adequacy (CRAR).
In the meantime, the registrar of Co-operative Societies (RCS) has restored the original registration of the bank as a society, under the Goa Statehood with effect from April 1, 2016 vide order dated July 28, 2017. As the five-term of the current board comes to end in August, they have now suggested to the government the roadmap for rejuvenation of the apex bank including appointment of board with professionals, share capital infusion by the Goa government and floating of OTS (one-time settlement)scheme for loans sanctioned / outstanding as NPAs from prior to 2005.
Supeme Court issues notices to five States including Goa in HSRP matter
The Supreme Court sought response from five States including Goa on a contempt plea alleging non-compliance of order related to ensuring high security registration plates (HSRP) for all vehicles.
A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices Adarsh Goel and D Y Chandrachud issued notice to Goa, Uttar
Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh and sought their replies in four weeks.
The apex court had in 2012 said that installation of HSRP is a statutory command which is not only in the interest of the security of the state, but also serves a much larger public interest.
“Therefore, it is not only desirable, but mandatory, for every State to comply with the statutory provisions / orders of this court in terms of Article 129 of the Constitution of India, 1950,” the apex court had said in its Order.
It had directed that all states, to fully implement the scheme of fixation of HSRP in their State, positively by April 30, 2012 for new vehicles and by June 15, 2015 for old vehicles.
The court had warned that no state will be allowed any further extension of time for implementation of this direction and failure to comply with its direction will lead to contempt proceedings against the Secretary (Transport)/ Commissioner, State Transport Authority and/ or any other concerned person or authority under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.
The court had passed the order on a PIL petition filed by chairman of the All India Anti-terrorist Front, M S Bitta, seeking its direction to introduce tamper-proof number plates and licences for vehicles, contending that the present system was prone to misuse by anti-social elements.
High Court Division Bench takes suo motu cognisance of transfer of NGT cases from Pune to Delhi
After taking suo motu cognizance of the transfer of Goa cases from National Green Tribunal, Pune, to Delhi by the government, the High Court of Bombay at Goa will examine whether this move will properly serve purpose of making available affordable access to justice.
A division bench comprising Justices Gautam Patel and Nutan Sardessai voiced, “Many litigants from this state have cases before the NGT in Pune, which they and their lawyers regularly attend. Cost is one aspect. Access to justice, a lodestar in judicial governance, is another, and we believe it is necessary to examine how the purpose of making available affordable access to justice is properly served by such an action.” The High Court had made reference to newspaper reports regarding the transfer of cases.
While proposing to take up this issue as a suo motu public interest litigation, the Bench sought an explanation from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change justifying the shifting of cases only from Goa to New Delhi.
“We seek a clearer understanding why, instead of a circuit bench, the venue of hearings was decided to be moved even further away,” the bench noted.
DMA – EESL to device energy efficient public water, sewerage system projects
The Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) of the state government recently signed an agreement with Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Union Ministry of Power to determine the energy saving potential of Goa, through Investment Grade Energy Audit (IGEA) reports, for implementation of energy efficient projects in the public water works and sewerage system in the state.
The director of municipal administration J Ashok Kumar and the national programme manager for the municipal energy efficiency programme of the EESL Uttam Kumar signed the agreement.
Uttam Kumar said that the Union Minister of Urban Development has entrusted EESL with the task of carrying out energy audit and optimising energy consumption for the state of Goa under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Indian cities.
“We expect to identify the energy efficiency potential of Goa within the next 4 to 5 months and then after receiving clearance from the government, complete the related implementation process within 9 months,” Kumar added pointing out that the entire exercise would be completed in 15 months period.
“Initially auditing of between 300 and 400 pumps would be taken up in the municipal sector, in the non – agricultural area, and such pumps, which are 10 to 15 years old, would be replaced by the new ones under AMRUT,” he noted, adding that the exercise comprises of assessment of pumping efficiency and their detail energy audit.
It was also informed that the Municipal Energy Efficiency Project (MEEP) would result in an average energy saving of 25 percent in Goa through the replacement of old inefficient pump sets, in the public water works and sewage system. Approximately 36 million units shall be saved each year, which will result in an annual monetary savings of over Rs 23 crore.
This will lead to an avoidance of over 25 MW peak demand while also reducing over 30,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
“As part of the agreement, EESL will prepare Investment Grade Energy Audit (IGEA) reports for implementation of financially viable and bankable project in Goa,” Kumar maintained, pointing out that the EESL has targeted a saving of approximately 25 to 40 percent in power consumption of each urban local body upon successful implementation of the project.
Goa is among 334 cities around the country, which would be audited for energy efficiency under AMRUT. The EESL, so far has signed similar agreements with 21 states, which corresponds to 334 cities, out of the total 500 cities listed under AMRUT.