No relief even after committee's decision on cluster towns; File moved from Law Department and stuck in Finance Department
PANJIM: Is the absence of the Chief Minister from the State keeping hundreds of liquor traders waiting for the relief promised by the ministerial committee from the ban on liquor outlets along highways?
Two months after the committee comprising Ministers Vijai Sardesai, Rohan Khaunte and Francis D’Souza announced they had worked out a cluster town concept to save liquor traders from facing closure due to implementation of the Supreme Court ban, there has been no actual action. Traders are waiting for the cancellations to be revoked even as the tourist season is coming to an end.
When contacted, Khaunte said the file has been referred to Finance Department.
Sources stated that even as the committee took a popular decision of ‘cluster town’ concept, the actual implementation has been dragging due to the absence of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The file has apparently moved from the Law Department to the Finance Department, where it is stuck. “The entire process has to be followed to declare certain areas as cluster towns considering their proximity to towns,” a senior official from the secretariat said.
Interestingly, the committee which had come up with the unique idea to circumvent the SC judgment has itself lost steam with no follow up either from the ministers or from the bureaucrats.
A senior Excise official told Herald that the file has been forwarded to the government. “We will be able to take a decision only when there is a formal order on cluster town comes from the government,” he said.
The All Goa Liquor Traders Association said the government should resolve the issue as soon as possible. “The issue should be resolved immediately so that every trader gets respite. We want the State government to ensure that each and every trader gets respite and no one is left out,” the association’s president Dattaprasad Naik said.