Goa

Goa Conrgess promises formalin-free fish, special status


Panaji, Apr 18 (IANS): Fish free of formalim, resumption of mining operations in a sustainable manner and lobbying in the Parliament for special status to Goa are the three key promises made by the Congress in its manifesto for Goa for the Lok Sabha elections.

The two Lok Sabha constituencies in the state -- North Goa and South Goa -- go the polls in the third phase on April 23.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Girish Chodankar, state Congress President and the party's Lok Sabha candidate from North Goa, said the Congress would also lobby for a more rationalised tax regime for the state's tourism sector.

"Goans love fish. We assure that a proper system of checks will be in place to facilitate formalin-free fish across Goa," Chodankar said.

The use of a carcinogenic substance has touched the cords of a cross section of the local population, after an official inspection last year revealed traces of the carcinogenic cadaver preservative in fish imported into Goa from neighbouring states and an alleged cover-up which was carried out by the state's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department.

Chodankar also promised to work towards restarting mining in the coastal state, which has been banned by the Supreme Court since March 2018.

The conferring of special status to Goa to preserve the state's unique cultural identity has also been a long-standing demand made by the political parties across the spectrum as well as civil societies due to rampant in-migration.

"We will also vehemently work to convince the Parliament to pass a law to preserve Goa's land and identity on the lines of the law in Himachal Pradesh," the state Congress President said.

Chodankar also said that the state's tourism industry was reeling under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and promised to rationalise the tax structure, along with easy visa norms.

"We are looking to grant visa on arrival, which will not just benefit tourism in India, but also in Goa," Chodankar said.

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