Hawala transactions rife at casinos operating in Goa: Mickky Pacheco

Nuvem MLA and Goa Vikas Party (GVP) supremo Francisco ‘Mickky’ Pacheco charged that casinos in Goa have been causing the state a loss in crores of rupees of revenue by underreporting the number of persons visiting casinos. While he refrained from making a statement against the government, observers say that Pacheco’s statement is indirectly against revenue collection by the commercial taxes department. In other words, Pacheco has contradicted the statement of the chief minister that leakages in revenue collection have been plugged by the government.

Pacheco, a member of the ruling coalition, has also alleged that casinos are operating a ‘hawala’ (racket), a charge the government may have to respond to. Pacheco said that while they received 800 persons on weekdays and 1,200 people on weekends, casinos report entry of only 100-150 persons. “The casinos in Goa, especially the offshore casinos are siphoning off funds from the state,” Pacheco alleged and demanded a government inquiry into the issue. He said this was depriving Goa of tax revenue. “At the current commercial tax value of 500 per person, each casino operator deprives the state exchequer of a minimum of 4 lakh on weekdays and 5 lakh on weekends,” said Pacheco. He said this is the figure when the entry fee is 500.

In the previous financial year, it was 2,000 per person. Pacheco also said almost 80 per cent of the casino employees are non-Goans, although there are enough people suitable for the job in Goa. He said he was recently approached by a group of boys working in a casino who told him that they are being harassed in order to force them to leave their jobs. He demanded that all previous dues be recovered from the casinos and the casinos should be sealed till this was done. He also called on the government to install surveillance cameras as well as appoint government officials to monitor each casino.

Courtesy: TOI

Sun, sand and hi style in Goa

Sun, sand, surf, crabs! Relaxed meals at the shacks, prawn curry and rice together with zest for life that is unique to this place – Goa offers so much, that any traveler is lured in to coming back for more.

We were there recently, attending the Indian Resort Fashion Week. In to its the second year, the event featured over 2 dozen designers and the glamour quotient was high with presence of stars like Genelia D’souza, Bipasha Basu and Paris Hiton.

Internationally, December is the month dedicated to cruise collections and maybe that’s what prompted the organisers to choose this as the month for the Resort Fashion Week.

In terms of the designs, most silhouettes were as per expectation – kaftans, tunics and some edgy dresses.

Neeta Lulla’s collection was dedicated to those having or headed to a destination wedding, at a beach or resort.



It was interesting to catch Shayne and Falguni’s collection, which was super edgy. These designers have been showcasing at the New York Fashion Week for the last three seasons and told us that they were planning to move base there, early next year.



They dressed Paris Hilton for the show and the various press meetings.

Courtesy : NDTV

Banks recasting Rs 1,300 cr loan to Goa mining sector

Following the go-ahead by the Reserve Bank, banks have begun restructuring the loans worth around Rs 1,300 crore given to iron ore miners and other stakeholders such as truckers and shipping lines.

The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), which has intermediated the efforts to get the loans restructured, today said the banks have already begun the debt restructuring process. Canara Bank, which has an exposure of Rs 37 crore, has already begun recasting the loan, while Corporation Bank is also in the process of loan recast, the chamber said.

“The RBI during a recent meeting of the empowered committee in Goa had told the banks that they had no objections for restructuring the debt of the mining industry if they are based on the prescribed guidelines,” GCCI President Manguirish Pai Raikar told PTI.

According to a rough estimate, banks have around Rs 1,300 crore exposure to the troubled industry. Loan servicing had been hit after mining came to a standstill in the state. There are 22,000 trucks and 400-odd ships in the state transporting ore from different parts of Goa to the ports. The RBI has also asked the banks to tell borrowers to opt for alternative source of business so that the loan amount does not turn into a bad debt, Raikar said, adding the borrowers would be given a breathing space till they manage alternative source of income.

Courtesy: BL

Nuke energy vital for growth: Kakodkarin Goa

Padma Vibhushan Awardee Dr Anil Kakodkar has made an impassioned plea for nuclear and solar based power to ensure the country’s energy independence and people’s welfare.
Delivering the second lecture of the late Fr Nicolau Pereira Lecture Series on ‘Energy Challenges in India: Long Term Perspectives’, Dr Kakodkar said India needs to add at least 40% of present day global capacity to raise its human development index values and in order to match those of global standards.
The lecture, which was held at the ‘Cardium’ in NIO at Dona Paula, was attended by students and faculty of various colleges and higher secondary schools of the State.
Describing the three-stage programme envisaged by Homi Bhabha in order to harness nuclear power, Dr Kakodkar said the programme, when fully operationalized, would add significant capacity to the country’s energy basket.
“Besides, both nuclear and solar based plants are free from carbon emissions,” he said.
Acknowledging public concerns regarding safety issues involving nuclear power, Dr Kakodkar sought to dispel misgivings in this regard and stressed that the technology is much safer than believed to be.
Others present at the function included the vice-chancellor of Goa University, director of NIO, director of higher education and principals of various colleges.
Earlier in his address, St Xavier College Principal Fr Walter de Sa informed that the Memorial Lecture Series was being held in the Golden Jubilee year of the College, an apt remembrance of Dr Nicolau Pereira who was a colossus in the field of education in Goa.

Courtesy : Herald

Goa Greenfield Airport: Goa to float global tenders for its new airport soon

Goa would float global tenders for its greenfield airport at Mopa in North Goa by the end of the current financial year, Chief Minister of the state Manohar Parikkar said here today. “We would like to float global tenders for the Mopa airport by March,” Parikkar told reporters on the sidelines of panIIT conference here.

Parikkar, an IIT graduate, said that the existing airport at Dabolim was totally saturated. The new airport would be built on public-private partnership basis with land to be given by the government. He said that the cost of the airport would be around Rs 3000 crore, adding that the government had earmarked 2500 acre for it.

The airport was likely to become operational in four year’s time, he said. Air traffic to Goa was expected to double from three million to six million in three years, Parikkar said.

Courtesy: ET