SAY HELLO TO SANTA CLAUS THIS CHRISTMAS: Catch one of Finnair’s Goa-Helsinki flight on Thursday or Monday! Breathe in the fresh cool air of Finland, see the “northern lights,” eat rye bread and meatballs, buy a Marimekko fleece blanket…and, of course, call on Santa in Lapland! Here to break the happy news were Finnair’s Desmond Chacko and Arja Suominen, who while speaking to media people in Panaji on Nov 2, 2017, confirmed the direct bi-weekly flights till March 21, 2018. Finland is celebrating a 100 years of independence and we dare say if it’s peace you’re seeking you’ll find it in Finland, country of “40,000 lakes” to quote Arja Suominen


THE BJP has time and again humiliated Mapusa MLA  Francis D’Souza. Over the years he has been openly mis-used by the saffron brigade and consistently politically undermined, despite his unflinching loyalty to the party. Now, he has been rewarded with crumbs and leftovers.

On account of his loyalty to the BJP, Francis D’Souza had to even endure flak and the wrath of the Church after claiming to be a Christian Hindu. As deputy chief minister he should have been the obvious choice  as chief minister in November 2014, when Manohar Parrikar was moving on to Delhi. In March this year, to rub salt into his wounds, Francis D’Souza was relegated to no. 4 in the Cabinet with the innocuous Urban Development portfolio.

The conduct of the BJP towards its altar boys shows that they value them no more than toilet paper. Less said the better on how in Oct 2000 then BJP coalition chief minister Francisco Sardinha was dispatched on a voyage to see the kangaroos in Australia and was here very ceremoniously and deviously unsaddled from the throne.

More recently after having vowed to carry on Matanhy Saldanha’s legacy, the BJP renegaded on everything he stood for. Even Alinha Saldanha  despite being the lone lady MLA was craftily kept out of the Cabinet. The deceitful agenda of the BJP is now out in the open for all to see.

– Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar


THE announcement that 5,000 government jobs will be filled up from December on must have come as a sigh of relief for thousands of government employment seekers. Although reservations are meant to protect the OBCs, STs and SCs and boost backward communities, recruitment should be done solely on the basis of merit. Hiring by going giving credit to merit, not only makes more proficient candidates to run government offices more efficiently, but also encourages students to strive to achieve academic success through dedicated scholastic pursuits.

It should be also highlighted here that there should be complete eradication of bribe taking in selecting candidates, as well as accepting bribes offered by candidates. This practice leads to a vicious circle of corruption in which the candidates borrow money to pay for being selected and thereafter solicit bribes from clients in order to be able to pay the loans back.

A very strict methodology should be put in place to abolish corruption as well as cronyism and nepotism as done by multi-national corporations. Government jobs are much sought after because of stability in employment as well as higher remunerations. Barring reserved categories candidates should be chosen on strict merit basis. If jobs are much sought after because of becsue of stability in employment as well as higher remunerations. Barring resered categories candidates should be chosen on stict merit basis. If time bound services are to be provided by the government, then mentorious candidates will guarantee that services sought from the government become more efficiently delivered.

– Elvidio Miranda, Panjim


LET’S compare GST world rates with BJP’s Bharatdesh?

In Australia GST is 10%; Bahrain 5%; Canada 15%; China 17%; Japan 8%; Korea 10%; Kuwait 5%; Malaysia 6%; Mauritius 15%; Mexico 16%; Myanmar 3%; New Zealand 15%; Phillipines 12%; Russian Federation 18%; Singapore 7%; South Africa 14%; Thailand 7%; UAE 5%; America (USA) 7.5%; Vietnam 10%; Zimbabwe 15%.

And greatest India? A whopping 28%!

For petrol and diesel we are paying separate tax of 33%. Here, take  a look at petrol prices around the world: Pakistan `26; Bangladesh `22; Cuba `19; Italy `14. Nepal `34; Burma `30; Afghanistan `36; Sri Lanka `34.

And India?  `73!  We have a wonder country where pizza delivery reaches before the ambulance! A car loan is at 7% but an education loan 12%; rice is `40 kg and sim cards are given free by the government. We worship Durga mother and murder baby girls at birth! We give Olympic gold medalists `3 crore and another medalist who sacrifices his life fighting terrorists at the border `1 lakh! Really, amazing India.

Wake up India!!

– Contributed by a reader


IN today’s BJP ishstyle democracy driven by a pro-BJP media — pro by money or sword — how must one view the ground reality of the GST?

For the masses the GST should have been a winner, given the “paid propaganda media style of the BJP.” Unfortunately for the BJP, the GST impacts even the masses and they have been impacted adversely.

The GST failed on all counts:

  1. It failed to adhere to the “one” tax criteria used all over the world and has emerged as the same old multi-tax structure.
  2. It failed to “reduce double taxation” expenditure which would drive industry: All consumers are paying heavily including the common man.
  3. The BJP failed to listen to even their own business allies on the “fixed” date of implementation, not postponing the same even by a day purely on ego. This resulted in the present chaos due to improper implementation, forcing the PM to console his own Gujarati traders that “he gives them his word that he will not allow them to suffer.”

The biggest admission of its failure — which lies purely in its implementation — comes from the PM’s utterances at a Gujarat rally. The PM has never shared credit with the Congress for a success. But now he tacitly acknowledged GST was a failure by saying that the Congress was also a part of the GST! Was this a magnanimous gesture giving “credit” to the Congress or dragging them into the mess?  GST was conceived by the Congress, true, but the failure was in its implementation.

This follows the demonetization debacle. The difference is the demonetization failed on two counts: Concept and implementation. Worse, the BJP did not learn from history: Demonetization was implemented previously too and proved that it could not bring out black money.

Talking is easy: Walking the talk is a different ball game. Another one bites the dust!

– R Fernandes, Margao


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