No proposal yet to hold DefExpo in Goa, says Parrikar

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Panaji, July 4 (IANS) No proposal has been received from the Ministry of Defence to host the next edition of DefExpo in Goa, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday.

Asked if the biennial Defence Ministry event, which was held in Goa’s Quepem sub-district last year, would be held in Goa in 2018, Parrikar said: “They (the ministry) have to propose. So far nothing has come… There is no proposal as of now.”

“If Defence Ministry wants, it we can consider the proposal. I have not said consider it positively or negatively. If they want, they can write to us…we will take a decision.”

“‘When I was Defence Minister’ is a separate story,” said Parrikar, who was the Defence Minister before taking charge as the Chief Minister of Goa in March this year.

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Parrikar, however, said that the expo was a golden opportunity for Goa and that the cash-rich Exhibition Society, which functions under the aegis of the Defence Ministry, should be tapped to build infrastructure at the Expo site.

“If you ask me, it is a golden opportunity where money can be spent by the exhibition wing of the defence forces. They have an Exhibition Society, where they have sufficiently large funds available. Over a period, they have accumulated funds also,” Parrikar said.

“They can build up a state-of-the-art exhibition ground, where not only defence, but many other exhibitions can also be held. It can actually ensure that the area gets continuous yearlong business… That is my personal opinion,” he said.

The Expo has been traditionally held at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.

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