IT Minister and ITG chairman on warpath

SOIRU VELIP | NT

Panaji

Power struggle between IT Minister Jennifer Monserrate
and chairman of Infotech Corporation of Goa Nilkanth Halarnkar has come to the
fore.

Halarnkar is upset over the alleged ‘interference’ of
Monseratte in the affairs of the corporation.

And the fallout of the conflict of interest is that
Halarnkar, who had defected to the BJP
from the Congress along with nine other legislators including
Monserrate, has stopped going to the ITG office and also using the official car.

The power struggle was triggered by Monserrate’s
inspection of the site of the electronic city project at Tuem without
informing Halarnkar.

It is pertinent to note here that the electronic city
project is being executed by the ITG.

Moreover, the IT Minister replaced the ITG managing director without consulting
its chairman.

On Monday, Monserrate
visited the ITG office at Altinho
when the chairman was not present and
gave instructions to ITG officials. She directed the

officials to compulsorily
route all the corporation files
to her.

Speaking to media persons on Tuesday, the IT Minister
admitted directing the corporation officials to route the files to her.

Monserrate said that as the IT Minister she visited the
corporation office to ascertain its functioning, and punctuality and attendance of the staff.

She said, “I have
given instructions that all files pertaining to the ITG should come to me… I must know what is going on in the
corporation. Two files have been moved
forward without informing me. How this can happen?”

Monserrate
maintained that as the IT Minister she – and not the corporation
chairman – is answerable to the state legislative assembly, but stressed that the chairman and the minister should
work in tandem.

On the other hand,
Halarnkar said the minister would set a wrong precedent if she starts
interfering in the affairs of autonomous bodies like the ITG.

“I have brought this to the notice of Chief Minister
Pramod Sawant, and expect that he would take a right decision in the interest
of the IT sector and the state,” he emphasised.

Halarnkar observed that there are many corporations under
various departments. But these corporations
are run independently as they are
autonomous bodies.

Claiming that the
IT department is not providing funds to the corporation, the chairman said the ITG is run using its own revenue
generated through various projects.

Halarnkar also
said the ITG’s board of directors has not yet been constituted by the
government.

The Chief Minister on Monday evening made an attempt to
pacify the warring IT Minister and ITG
chairman.

However, Monserrate
is firm on her move that all the
ITG files must come to her.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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