Goa BJP opposes Parrikar, CM on ‘digital Goa’ deadline

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Panaji, Dec 6 (IANS) Opposing the December 30 deadline announced by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the state BJP on Tuesday said to make Goa a cashless state in such a short span of time is not a practical proposition.

Addressing a press conference at the ruling party’s state headquarters here, spokesperson Damu Naik also demanded that the official circular issued by the Commercial Tax Department, asking registered traders to go cashless, be immediately withdrawn.

The decision to make Goa cashless by December 30 is causing hardships to tourists and the business community as they need to be made literate and aware about cashless transactions first, Naik said.

“…Going cashless by December 30 may not be possible. It will be very difficult because of tourists, the domestic tourists, who come here. They should be made literate first,” Naik said.

Parrikar had chaired a meeting on November 26 with Goa’s top bureaucrats and bankers, where he had asked them to examine the modalities of making Goa India’s first cashless state by December 30.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar was not present at the meeting held here.

The Defence Minister had said that efforts would be made to encourage all transactions, right down to retail purchase of fish from fish markets, to be done in cashless mode.

The “Cashless by December 30” slogan has also been positioned by Parrikar and Parsekar as the party’s key ambition at a series of poll meetings of the BJP across Goa, which is heading for polls in early 2017.

A circular last week from the state’s Commercial Tax Department asked registered traders and businessmen to go cashless within 10 days, warning that tax officials would be conducting inspections after the specified period to check compliance.

Goa BJP’s General Secretary Sadanand Shet Tanavade also demanded that the government immediately withdraw the circular because it has created panic among traders.

“The circular was issued as a result of over-enthusiasm by the official concerned. This has caused panic within the trader community,” Tanavade said.

Instead of setting a deadline, the focus should be on creating awareness among the traders and people about the benefits of cashless transactions, he added.

The Commercial Tax Department functions under the Finance Ministry headed by Chief Minister Parsekar.

–IANS

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