The Congress will introduce the populist ‘Nyay’ scheme implemented by the party’s Chhattisgarh government in Goa if the party comes to power, which will provide a dole of Rs 6,000 for every economically backward family in the coastal state.
Addressing a party rally in Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s Sanquelim assembly constituency, Gandhi also said that the party would not allow Goa to become a hub for coal transportation if the Congress comes to power following the February 14 assembly polls.
“We are taking a historic decision in Goa. Some days back, I was in Chhattisgarh, we have started it there and we will also start a new scheme for the poor in Goa. It is the Nyay scheme. Every month, Rs 6,000 (Rs 72,000 annually) will be given to the poorest people in Goa right into their bank accounts. The money will be deposited every month irrespective of storm, wind, corona, anything calamity,” Gandhi said.
“If you are poor, you are weak and you live in Goa, then you will be entitled for Rs 6,000 every month… Rs 72,000 every year in your bank account automatically. We do not want anyone to stay hungry in this state. We do not want anyone in this state to fear not being able to send their children to school and college,” Gandhi said.
He also said that for Goa’s tourism sector to continue to flourish, there was a need to stop the state from being used as a hub for coal transportation.
“Goa is a tourism hub. People across the world call Goa a tourist hub, a tourist centre. People from the US, Japan, Europe, England holiday here. They come from everywhere.
“Thousands of people earn a livelihood from tourism. Either there can be tourism or there can be pollution. Both cannot co-exist. Either Goa can be a tourist hub or it will become a coal hub,” he said.
“If you want to make Goa a coal hub, from which there will be no benefit accrued to Goa. The tourists who visit here will say, we will go someplace else. We do not like coal, we do not want to breathe in coal-polluted air. Come whatever that may, we will not allow Goa to be reduced to a coal hub,” Gandhi said.
The coastal state’s only major port, on an average imports nearly 14-15 million tons, which has triggered coal dust pollution issue in the port town of Vasco in South Goa. The coal is largely used to fuel steel mills in Karataka’s Bellary region.