Goa CM promises to double funds for ZPs after polls

Panaji, Mar 15 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that his government would double the funds allocated to the Zilla Panchayats, which would be going to polls on March 22.

Addressing an election rally at Borim village in South Goa on Saturday, Sawant said the funds would be doubled after the polls.

'Zilla panchayat is an important institution.

Empowering zilla panchayats will provide impetus to the rural development in the state. Our government has been focusing on rural development in a big way,' he said.

Election for all the 50 ZP constituencies in Goa will be next Sunday. The BJP has fielded candidates in around 40 ZP constituencies. Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) have also thrown their hats in the ring.

Sawant said the 'real Goans' still live in villages and they need to be served through the government-sponsored schemes.

The chief minister said the government led by him, which will soon complete a year in office, has been battling various issues concerning the state.

Sawant was sworn in as the chief minister of Goa on 19 March last year, following the death of Manohar Parrikar.

'We have been facing several issues, including ban on the mining activity and Mahadayi water dispute with Karnataka,' he said.

He accused Congress leader and former chief minister Digambar Kamat, who is currently Leader of Opposition, of being responsible for problems like Mahadayi and mining.

'During his tenure, Kamat sold Mahadayi to Karnataka.

He is also responsible for the mining crisis,' Sawant alleged, referring to the M B Shah Commission's report, which had said that illegal mining to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore took place in Goa from 2005 to 2012.

The chief minister admitted that his government has failed to create jobs in the state in last one year.

'In the next two years, we will provide 8,000-10,000 government jobs to the youth through staff selection commission, besides providing 30,000-40,000 jobs in the private sector,' he said.

He said a new law would be framed to make it compulsory for private industries to employ locals on priority. PTI RPS NP NP