Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday made a slew of announcements, including the long-awaited Common Minimum Programme, and called for interest waiver on agriculture loans up to Rs 1 lakh. He also made amendments to recognise coconut as a state tree, create affordable housing through housing board and formulate a policy to shift the casinos from Mandovi among other promises.
The Common Minimum Programme — a guide to the government’s policies for their ruling term was being held up for months due to the election code of conduct for panchayat elections.
Giving agriculture maximum attention, Parrikar said they are now looking to introduce the concept of “open markets” parallel to highways and main state roads where farmers can come and sell their produce in an organised manner. Currently in Goa, farmers can be seen spreading their goods on the road side leading to traffic jams.
“We are using the market model the way they do in America. The government will buy pockets of land and convert them into small open markets where farmers from the region can come and sell their produce,” he said.
He said the regional plan will focus on introducing a clear land use policy and iron out any ambiguity on the land’s purpose. He also chose to introduce the concept of Transfer of Development Right (TDR) to the state, as a policy initiative.
The medium of instruction was kept unchanged with the government’s coalition including Maharashtra Gomantak Party choosing to leave the choice to students and parents.