Goa legislators bow down to pressure, pay up for Brazil tour

After dodging payment of their junket for the Fifa World Cup 2014, three out of four ruling legislators from Goa have finally footed the bill for the tour as their efforts to resist clearing of dues drew a severe flak from media.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 12, 2015, 16:07 PM IST

    Panaji: After dodging payment of their junket for the Fifa World Cup 2014, three out of four ruling legislators from Goa have finally footed the bill for the tour as their efforts to resist clearing of dues drew a severe flak from media.

While state Fisheries minister Avertano Furtado, BJP legislator Glenn Ticlo and independent MLA Benjamin Silva have paid Rs 15 lakh each to the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) for the trip, which was initially sponsored by the state and later withdrawn following outburst in the media, another BJP MLA Carlose Almeida has sought more time to settle his dues.

 "Three legislators have paid the entire amount. We have received letter from fourth one seeking more time to pay which we have granted," said a senior SAG official.

 Interestingly, the state-run SAG had last week written to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar seeking his suggestions after the MLAs concerned continued ignoring notices served on them for payment of expenses.

 The legislators had originally been scheduled to travel on a state-sponsored tour to Brazil, but agreed to pay their own bill owing to criticism in media.

 The politicians were allowed to go under the instructions that they would pay back the expenses from their personal coffers.

 However, their tour evoked sharp criticism as it came at a time when the coastal state was struggling to manage its finances following ban on the mining sector.

 The then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had announced formulation of foreign tour policy for its ministers, legislators and officers.

 Parrikar had said the state-level committee, headed by chief secretary, will screen the applications for foreign tours before approving them.