WEEKEND UPDATES

GOA CARNAVAL HERE!

IT is Carnaval time again in Goa from Friday afternoon on February 9 onwards in Panaji. Nobody is sure yet how big this year’s float parade is but you may look out for the official Carnival Float Parade with King Momo this year being Clive Gracious of Chinchinim. The Carnaval theme song “Amcho Goych Carnaval” is very lively! The carnival is scheduled to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant. Speaking to media people on Thursday, Feb 8, Director of Tourism said that “Carnaval is not just a festival; it’s a celebration of music, enjoyment, and bringing our community together. It is a great opportunity to witness when the streets of Goa come alive with color, music, and dance, showing the rich tapestry of our heritage.” The message going out is to enjoy with friends and family. In his message King Momo 2024 said he would like to inspire young people to be energetic and positive in serving Goa and its people.    
    

PANJIM WAR ZONE!

THE Goa Bench of the Bombay high court  has declared that half of Panaji looks like a war zone. Roads have been dug up for smart city projects. The son of a corporator fell into a ditch on new year’s eve. Mayor Rohit Monserrate asked for an enquiry. Elsewhere too the high court hauled up the government for granting permission for a sea food festival at Miramar beach. The court observed that there’s no application of mind. The CEO of Smart City Projects Sanjit Rodrigues is under fire.

HUMBLE SHRIPAD!

SHRIPAD Naik, north Goa MP, made a visit to the geriatrics ward of the GMC on Tuesday night. His eldest sister,79, was admitted for a cardiac problem. When informed I was there too in the ward Shripad bab came to visit me too. He was dressed in spotless white kurta and pyjama. He had just finished seeing the prime minister off after his daylong visit to inaugurate various projects in Goa. Shripad did not demand any special facilities for his sister. Anyone else in his place would have asked for a private room and special attention for a relative. But not Shripad Naik, he was happy with his sister being admitted to the geriatrics ward and in the care of the resident doctor. (This  item has been contributed by Rajan Narayan)

MARGAO TURNED SAFFRON

SOUTH Goa’s city Margao turned saffron with over 40,000 people attending Narendra Modi’s rally organized at the  Kadamba bus terminal grounds on Tuesday, February 6. It was a sea of saffron flags and saffron caps distributed to those who came to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Digambar Kamat had mobilized his vote bank from Moti Dongor.  Vishwajit Rane had brought a huge crowd from Sattari. Babush and Jennifer Monserrate were seated on the front row for special guests and the was the surprise presence was of Churchill Alemao.

PM’S HECTIC TRIP TO GOA

IT was a hectic trip for Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the time he stepped down on Goa’s red soil. Amongst other things he inaugurated the 5-day “India Energy Week 2024” which features an exhibition as also a conference to meet global oil and gas CEOs/experts. An estimated 17 energy ministers from different countries, 35,000 attendees and more than 900 exhibitors are participating in the Energy Week deliberations.

The PM also inaugurated several Viksit Bharat, Viksit Goa 2047 projects, namely the permanent campus of the National Institute of Technology, National Institute for Water Sports, he laid the foundation stone for the passenger ropeway across the river Mandovi to connect Panaji with Reis Magos fort, this is part of a spate of tourism initiatives to turn Goa into a tourism hub. He also laid the foundation stone for the construction of a 100 MLD water treatment plant in South Goa and inaugurated ONGC’s sea survival centre, a one-of-a-kind integrated sea survival training centre expected to train 10,000 to 15,000 personnel annually.

Altogether Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Rs1,330 crore worth of projects in Goa.     

TECH AWARENESS PROGRAM

THE GCCI Women’s Wing of GCCI has started an initiative — Techknowledgy — in association with Goa Technology Association, to create tech awareness amongst women of Goa, be it students, homemakers, professionals or business women. Every woman needs to be updated with the changing trends in technology, be it in day-to-day life or on the business front. Technology makes women more adaptable and competent.

 The second program in the series was held on  February 8, 2024 at Parvatibai Chowgule College of Arts & Science, Margao; the first was held in North Goa a month ago. The eminent speakers were Sujeet Shetty, President GTA and Ekta Agarwal member of GTA and topics covered were use of technology in business growth and cybercrimes and online frauds.

Chief Guest Deepali Naik (Project Director- DRDA South. Asha Arondekar, chairperson of Women’s Wing-GCCI, welcomed all. The program was coordinated by Shreemi Panandikar, Gauri Borkar, Rahila Khan and Reena Panadikar of Mahila Mandal Margao. Goa has a high literacy rate and GCCI Women’s Wing is working towards increasing the tech literacy to empower women.  

WORLD CANCER DAY 2024

MANIPAL Hospital Goa in association with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Goa State Branch commemorated World Cancer Day on February 4. The day was instituted by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in 2000 and this global event serves as a platform to raise  awareness, disseminate information and advocate for collective efforts in preventing cancer-related deaths.

To mark WCD Goa State Branch of IMA illuminated the Atal Setu in orange and navy blue colors on Feb 3 & 4 to convey the message that cancer is preventable and curable. At the Manipal Hospital’s event Dr Sandesh Chodankar (president, IMA Goa State Branch) emphasized a dedication to reduce the Care Gap in the state. Gifts were given to  patients from the daycare unit who are undergoing cancer treatment.

According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data the number of cancer cases is expected to rise from 14.61 lakh in 2022 to 15.7 lakh in 2025. Present at the event were Surendra Prasad, Hospital Director and Unit Head, Dr Shekhar Salkar, Chief of Oncology Department and Senior Consultant Onco Surgeon, Dr Jacob George, Consultant Medical Oncology, Dr Gunjan Baijal, Consultant Radiation Oncology, Dr Mahadeva Swamy, Consultant, Haemato Oncology with specialisation in bone marrow transplant, Dr Sredharan M, Consultant Onco Surgeon, Dr Pankaj Mhatre Consultant-Nuclear Medicine, PET-CT and Nuclear Theranostics, Dr Aditya Gosawi-Medical Superintendent and Hari Prasad-Sales and Marketing Head, Manipal Hospitals Goa. Dr Shekhar Salkar delivered a talk on “Breast Cancer, an Overview.”

SWEDISH JAZZ BAND IN GOA   

SWEDEN’S Big Swedish jazz ensemble is all set to mesmerize Goa. The Moving Big Band is one of Sweden’s leading big jazz bands and will performing in Goa on February 15 & 18. The first concert takes place at the Kala Academy on February 15 at 730pm, while the second one will be at the Silva Heritage Lawns in Benaulim village on Feb 18 at 7.30pm.

The band comprising 19 members is an ensemble of musicians of all ages from 29 to beyond 80 years. Musical instruments  are of wind and brass such as saxophones, trumpets, trombones, flutes, clarinets, accompanied by electric bass, piano, guitar, drums, and delightful vocalists who put up exhilarating and foot-tapping performances of some of the greatest compositions written for big jazz bands.

Comprising retired and working men and women, the band was formed over four  decades ago and has performed at some of the most celebrated jazz concert venues in Scandinavia and all over Europe. The band considers their music as an educational experience for music lovers and students of music who otherwise would rarely be able to see a typical big jazz band in live action. Their music repertoire includes classic compositions of the Big Band Jazz era and upbeat jazz renditions of everyone’s favourite Swedish band, ABBA, as well as jazz legends Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Thad Jones & more.

The band previously performed in India in 2017 at the 15th East West Music and Dance encounter hosted by the Bangalore School of Music and in 2020 on a fund-raising tour for the Christian Medical College Alumni Association and for doctors who work in challenging situations in rural India.

Their current India tour sees them performing in Chennai, Vellore, Bengaluru, Ooty, and Goa. Tickets may be booked online on insider.in Contact +91 9323590051 and +91 9881568756 for more details.

THEATRE & INTER-COLLEGIATE COMPETITIONS

The Department of Information & Publicity in association with Village Panchayat Bandora and Zilla Panchayat Member Kavlem will be organizing various programs to commemorate the birth anniversary of Chhatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj, legendary Maratha warrior, on February 19, 2024. The main state level function will take place at  Farmagudi, Ponda. The day-long celebration will take place at the Ganapati Devasthan at Farmagudi. The all-Goa Natya Pravesh Competition is for  students at High School and Higher Secondary level and it will be on the life and work of Chhatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj from 9.00 am onwards. Each group gets maximum 10-minutes time period for their performance. Competition carries cash awards of Rs10,000; Rs7,000 and Rs5,000 as first, second and third prizes, respectively. Certificates will also be given. Entries may be submitted to the Department of Information & Publicity during office hours before February 16, 2024. More details: Contact Shyam Gaonkar on Mobile No: 9422444624.

 The All- Goa “Inter-Collegiate Quiz” on “Life, Times and Legacy of Chhatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj is at the same venue. Each  college may be represented by two bona fide students of the college  (degrees colleges in Goa). The quiz will see written preliminary round to select the five top teams who will contest on-stage finals. Last date for receipt of entries: February 16, 2024. Submit entries at Department of I & P, Udyog Bhavan, 3rd Floor, Panaji, Goa.

CONCESSION SCHEME FOR CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING SOCIETIES

THE scheme, giving special concession for stamp duty and registration fees, wherein the special rates provided are just 1% each of stamp duty and registration fees, is available only if the deed of sale/conveyance is registered with the concerned sub-registrar’s office within period of three months commencing from August 01, 2023 has been extended with effect from January 25, 2024 up to March 31, 2024. The scheme has been further simplified.

BUDGET FOR VIKSIT GOA!

IT’S growth and forward-looking budget 2024-25 for Goa. Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant has presented a budget with the national agenda of Vikasit Bharat on February 8, 2024. The projected revenue surplus is Rs1,720 crore and the GSDP is expected to grow at 13.87% in FY 2024-25. Per capita income is expected to increase from Rs6.75 lakh for FY 2023-24 to Rs7.64 lakhs for FY 2024-25 which gives an indication of positive growth in the State. According to GCCI President Shrinivas V Dempo the GCCI in its budget memorandum had requested the CM not to impose new taxes and the CM has obliged. Thanking Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant in this regard, he said the following suggestions were made in the GCCI’s pre-budget memorandum and they have been considered:

  1. GCCI president had suggested dynamic allotment of sale deed registrations in sub- register office to reduce workload and backlog in certain areas and distribute uniformly. This has been accepted.
  2. GCCI has suggested relief measure for very small liquor dealers in registration and compliance costs. Accepted.
  3. The tourism sector was facing difficulties in getting clearances for events and weddings due to involvement of multiple departments. The government’s decision for single window clearance for these events is welcome and will reduce costs.
  4. Data Analytics software for efficient use of Central government grants and disbursement to the needy to optimize funding on social security schemes for which Rs10 crore have been allotted with the formation of a dedicated cell. This will weed out ineligible beneficiaries. This can also be utilized for power consumption analysis in the state to cut down losses.
  5. GCCI Logistics Committee had requested development of inland waterways under which dredging at Chapora river; new passenger jetties in Mandovi, Zuari, Mapusa and Cumbharjua has been considered. The request for scrapping of single engine ferries have been taken up for replacement this year.
  6. Late night transportation from industrial areas and last mile connectivity is also reflecting in this budget.
  7. Proposal to digitize House Tax, Trade Tax collection, Water & electricity NOC, issuance of Income Certificate, Residence certificate, etc, and paperless workflow is a welcome sign of EODB for local self-government.
  8. In startups the Chamber welcomes the initiative to create co-working spaces near the beaches
  9. Introduction of EODB with an online system in factories and boilers is also welcome
  10. Thrust has been given on infrastructure development in Tourism, IT and employment generation which is the need of the hour
  11. Government to set up an Agro Food Park in industrial estate and this will boost agro and food exports from the state.
  12. With the initiative taken by Chief Secretary, Goa state has got funding of Rs 700 crore as “Viability Gap Grant Funding.” It is proposed to use these funds for creation of transportation hub.
    The GCCI had also requested the government to reconsider its decision of proposing increase for commercial establishment fees, land revenue fees, conversion fees and TCP department fees as this will indirectly affect the common people also.

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