LETTER TO EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED JUNE 19 2021

YOGA DOING GOOD IN SAUDI!

Guess who is receiving the Padma Shri from President Kovind? It’s Nouf al-Marwaal of Saudi Arabia. Born without immunity and abandoned by doctors, she came to India, got completely cured and is now the first yoga teacher in Saudi. But the Indian media wont’t show this!
Nouf is now teaching yoga in Saudi Arabia. Yoga and Ayurveda, the ancient treasure of India, may be allergic to some but she says 60% of all new generation in Saudi Arabia practises yoga and does Suryanamaskar
( A news item coutersy social media)

LEARN FROM NO EXAMS!

GOA Board and CBSE have cancelled the public exams for standards X and XII due to the current pandemic. Till now these exams were considered life-determining ones! What stops the Boards passing all the students with the same percentage? Not fair, right? Why, they will not even consider just the prelims marks which were offline! Why? You need to be fair to all and reward only the ones who studied. So, a formula with suitable weights will be made for a fair assessment.

Should not such methods be used in all spheres when giving things gratis? First GCCI then TTAG demanded the government waive all taxes for the hospitality industry. First: Why all taxes then next why a blanket waiver?  So, to clean the beaches of their clienteles’ litter and build STPs for 100 lakh of them, should locals be taxed in other ways?

First of all Gujarat has waived only property tax yet GCCI says they waived off all!

Should not the unscrupulous be exempt from these sops? According to the SDGs of the UN, where Goa is in place No.3, locals should be employed. So, give weightage for those units which employ 80% and above locals. We see hotels blocking local access to beaches, flout noise pollution levels, do not enforce pandemic SOPs on their clients, do not have their own STPs, pollute well waters of locals by sinking bore wells near the sea, did nothing to alleviate the struggles of their own migrant labour during the pandemic and much more. They even built concrete walls on the beach!

 After the season, students are scammed into cleaning the beaches for a cup of tea and a photoshop! These hotels/restaurants must be exempted from any tax waivers. Instead, further weightage must be given to those units that pay salaries like their counterparts in the metros and negative points that pay less. Employees of many such units sleep inside the restaurants or in pokey rooms transmitting malaria, TB and other diseases. Some use child labour. Being the 10th Best Tourist destination in the world must not be run like this. Now is the time to reward to good, not bad and ugly!

Ultimately, all the taxes waived for this industry will come from other taxes, recovered from the locals who do not earn from the same. From the seafarers, Gulfies,  Londonkars, shop salesgirls, etc. This is not fair.

Note: Why did the TTAG and the GCCI not demand reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel? Are locals a soft target to be milked but not the masters?

–R Fernandes, Margao

NATION BEHIND YOU

It was disappointing to read in the newspapers that nurses were discriminated against when functions are held in Goa by not inviting them and indirectly classing them as Covid-19 carriers. Also in certain parts of India doctors were attacked by relatives of patients when caring for their Covid-19 patients. Everyone and those indulging in these shameful acts should realise that in the time of this Covid-19 crisis thousands of nurses, doctors and healthcare staff are tirelessly treating and taking care of Covid patients from day one of the Covid infection.  People should keep all unscientific myths and conceptions in relation to the Covid virus away by questioning everything from social media. Because they are working in Covid hospitals it does not mean they are all Covid infected and Covid carriers. They are health staff and if they happen to have the infection they will self isolate themselves. Everyone and those educated should always question their own biases, attitude, false information and practices by seeking scientific and rational knowledge before being judgemental and discriminatory.

Risking and putting their own lives on the front line, working overtime without thinking of their own families, sometimes without any food and water due to the overwhelming number of patients admitted and having to fully cover themselves with the personal protection equipment. For more than a year this has become their daily routine. They are taking care of our relatives and loved ones in this difficult time and we all know that. Some doctors and nurses have lost their lives catching the virus on duty when caring for patients.They deserve our sincere gratitude and respect for all their sacrifices.

The Goa and Central government should immediately offer bonuses and pay rise to these nurses, doctors and healthcare staff to boost their morale for they deserve this. Also the Govt should deploy staff from less busy Goa government departments to assist them in this crisis.More health care staff should be recruited at our government hospitals, urban health centres, community health centres, PHCs and sub PHCs. This will help in monitoring home isolating patients and also helping doctors/nurses at the hospitals and centres. In preparation for the eventuality of any third Covid wave the government health care system should be ready and think of all possible scenarios and plans to face this head on to save precious lives

We hope our CM and HM will look at innovative ways of lessening the burden of these doctors and nurses. In some foreign countries nurses, doctors are offered more than 20 percent discount on all purchases at supermarkets and other stores and this is really a genuine humane gesture. We hope some businesses in India too will say thanks to them by starting this initiative.

We know the virus will end but until then continue with the selfless work you’ll are doing for humanity in this time of human health crisis.  We want you to know that the Nation is behind you, Doctors and Nurses.

–Jo Dias, Salcete, Goa

 JUDICIARY RAY OF HOPE!

WITH Justice NV Ramana having taken over as Chief Justice of India there is a ray of hope with the Judiciary now reasserting itself. Over the last few years it is the perception of the common man that judicial standards have been dithering with its independence clearly getting more and more compromised.

In Goa we need to commend the Additional Sessions Judge for having had the spine to acquit Tarun Tejpal though the BJP wanted him convicted and punished hook or by crook! The judge has given a detailed reasoning in her 527-page judgment which will be judged anew by the High Court in view of the speedy appeal filed by the State.

The judge, however, did seriously err by mentioning the name and details of the victimised woman in her judgment, something the law does not permit. This is a lapse on the part of the judge but undoubtedly not intentional.

Any advocate who has appeared before this judge will testify that she is known to be a very upright, no nonsense judge, who never cows down to any pressure whatsoever. With a mind of her own and being extremely meticulous on every issue she is considered to be a very difficult judge to deal with.

Within minutes of the order being passed by the court acquitting Tarun Tejpal, Goa’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant very irresponsibly rushed in blurting that the judgment was bad and that an appeal was being filed. This statement by the CM without even reading the judgment is highly contumacious and a clear aspersion on the court which would border on contempt.

In the absence of the reasoned judgment, it is inconceivable for the State to have “applied its mind” and come to any conclusion – one way or the other. The manner in which the head of the State rushed to make such a comment, shows the typical mind set of the government, to somehow fix anyone who dares cross the path of the BJP or seeks to expose its misdoings!

Some years ago the then chief minister, Manohar Parrikar, had to tender an unconditional written apology to the Bombay High Court for his such contumacious statements against the judiciary.  Will it now be the turn of Dr Pramod Sawant to also do so? Only time will tell.

–Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

NO GST CESS FOR PHARMA?

WE understand that during the 43rd GST Council Meeting via video conferencing, which was chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, held at New Delhi,  one of the proposals shared by the government of Sikkim was for nominal cess for the pharmaceutical industry. It is also learned that the Goa government is  contemplating on levying similar cess on GST for pharmaceutical sector.

During the pandemic for the last two years the pharmaceuticals were probably the only industry operating at 90% plus utilisation, braved the adverse environment chugging both lives and livelihood. In spite of supply chain logistics issues and not stopping at this, the pharmaceutical sector did not hesitate to walk the extra mile by extending whole hearted support in CSR and supporting government on various counts.

 The recent 44th Council Meeting has in fact reduced the prices of medicines related to covid-19. On the consumer side additional cess will add to the cost of medication for  the public at large, who are already reeling under the immense pressure during this pandemic  there by increasing the common man’s burden

Such levies actually contradict the vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s  towards improving the “ease of living” of the citizens of the country and  “ease of doing business.” We request the PM’s good offices and GST council representative members to kindly consider our request for not supporting additional cess proposals and would be very grateful for the same.

Manoj  M Caculo, GCCI, Goa

One thought on “LETTER TO EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED JUNE 19 2021”

  1. AAP has given 1 Cr. For the Frontline Warriors who died of Covid-19 Disease. Hope BJP will do the same in Goa.

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