Panaji: A day after Union Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee ruled out special status to Goa, Congress MP Shantaram Naik Tuesday clarified that the state
wanted an ammendment to Article 371 and not any special status as perceived.
"Goa has demanded amendment to article 371 of the
Constitution of India so that the land resources in the state
can be preserved. The demand is to classify state under a
special category by amending the article," he said.
"This special category is required so that the
foreigners do not monopolise our villages by buying land
here," the MP said.
"But media did not ask a question on this aspect or
rather media had in mind this very issue but the finance
minister took it as a demand to include Goa in a special
category like the North-Eastern states," Naik clarified.
Mukherjee yesterday said the National Development
Council (NDC) had decided not to give special status to any
more states in the country.
Naik further said that Goa`s key demand was for
amending Article 371 so as to empower the state legislative
Assembly to enact a legislation to bring in restrictions on
transfer of land and other immovable properties.
"Land is becoming scarce commodity more particularly
in smaller states. Land mafias from foreign countries are
landing in the states like Goa with tons of money buying huge
areas creating social and economic chaos," he said, adding
"some of the interested parties have a potential to buy an
entire village in a smaller state like Goa".
The issue of special status has been raised by NGOs
and political parties in the coastal state who are finding
that the land prices are escalating due to uncontrolled
purchases by real estate lobbies from outside Goa.