Francis: govt working hard to implement common cadre for municipalities

PANAJI: Urban Development Minister Francis D’Souza has said that in the absence of a consensus on the proposal of implementation of common cadre for the staff of municipal councils in the state, the issue has been pending for a long time.
Speaking to media on Thursday, the minister said that the government is working hard to implement common cadre in municipalities, but there is no agreement among councils, staff and some of the MLAs of concerned civic bodies.
He also announced the plan of amending the Goa Municipalities Act, 1968 for making it mandatory for the councillors to declare their assets annually before the Lokayukta office.
“The government will amend the Act wherein it will be made mandatory for the councillors to declare their assets annually before the Lokayukta. The Lokayukta has already issued an order in this regard. But since there is no such provision in the Act, we have plans to make the provision. We have a proposal to disqualify councillors, who fail to declare their assets,” D’Souza said.
On the creation of new municipalities in the state, the Urban Development Minister said that there are some village panchayats, which have been shown as census towns by the Census of India in Goa. Areas like Porvorim, Calangute and Taleigao are eligible for upgradation as municipalities.
“As per the Census of India, after crossing certain population, villages can be upgraded as municipalities. But for that, the concerned village panchayats should take a decision on whether they want to be upgraded as municipalities. If they agree on that, the government can proceed on it,” he said. The Minister, however, said that there is no such proposal as of now at the government level.
He also said that by merging two or three panchayats, new municipalities can be created. But it is for the people of those particular villages to come forward with the proposals for upgradation, he said.
Meanwhile, D’Souza stated that for last three years, no major works were taken up in the state by the public works department except in some selected areas. He said that of late, there were issues due to the implementation of Goods and Services Tax as regards to various works pertaining to PWD. He further stated that because of this problem, all files especially from his constituency were returned by higher authorities.
According to him, now that the GST problem has been resolved, there should not be a problem for tendering developmental works by the PWD.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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