Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday expressed concern over the state’s dependence on migrant workers and exhorted Goans to “wake up” and start taking advantage of the opportunities in the state.
Sawant was speaking at an event where loans were being given out for setting up small and medium enterprises in his home constituency of Sanquelim.
“I am making a straight statement. We hand over our jobs to them (migrant workers). I feel sorry to say this, nevertheless, I will, take for example the women’s tailors. All the stitching for women’s clothes is being done by Bengalis today… the plumber, electrician or any home service we call for, who are they, where do they come from? They are not Goans,” Sawant said.
“Every day, our population is shrinking and their population is increasing. It’s happening in huge numbers. It’s time Goans woke up. This will not change till Goans start small businesses from their home, from villages; it is not possible till then,” he said. He iterated that he was not speaking about those that settled in the state.
“The current condition in our state is very bad. Let me tell you, I am saying this on purpose. Our state has a small population of just 15 lakh. But we get more than sixty lakh tourists and sixty lakh migrants… They become Goans if they permanently settle here. Please do not interpret my views or comments in a different way. Many came here over a decade or more ago and are settled here… We need temporary labour, those who come here for six months and then go away.Roughly, it’s 60 lakh tourists and 60 lakh labourers. How are we taking advantage of these numbers?” he asked the crowd.