The Goa Government spent a whopping Rs 2,61,46,004 ( two crores sixty one lakhs forty six thousand and four rupees) on that Mega Job Fair held on 8th November last year at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium at Taleigao. This has been revealed in the information furnished to Adv. Aires Rodrigues under the Right to Information Act by the Office of Labour & Employment Commissioner.
As per the documents Rs 2,51,42,260 was paid to M/s Sunlight Media the event management company while Rs 9,27,990 was spent on media advertisements besides an expenditure of Rs 75,754 was incurred on vehicles hired from the Kadamba Transport Corporation and Goa Tourism Development Corporation for the event.
As per the file notings the Labour Commissioner by a note on 18th September proposed that a Mega Job Fair be organised at Taleigao, Margao and Ponda but Labour Minister Babush Monserrate by his noting on 22nd September directed that the Job fair be held only at Taleigao on 8th November while on 17th October gave his administrative approval for the same.
As per the file notings the Labour Commissioner by a letter dated 18th October (just twenty days before the event) wrote to the Director of Information & Publicity to submit the name of an agency along with the financial implication to conduct the event for 6000 participants.
Accordingly the Director of Information by his letter dated 28th October (just ten days before the event) informed the Labour Commissioner that Porvorim based Sunlight Media was the lowest bidder having quoted Rs 2,51,42,260 while Vinayak Decorators from Taleigao was the second lowest having quoted Rs 2,59,60,000. Interestingly the item wise bill of the amount quoted was submitted by Sunlight Media only on 13th January this year, two months after the event was held.
The notings also reveal that the event was held without the required financial approval of the government despite it not being an emergency event. As per the file notings when the matter reached the government for expenditure sanction only after the event was held the Finance department made five observations. That the cost appears to be very high, that the estimate was lump sum which cannot be accepted as the department has to make detailed estimates, that expenditure of Rs 3600 on each participant was unreasonably high, items like water proof pandals was not required in that season, that department shall rationalise the cost and restrict it to 1500 per head by eliminating non-essential items. All these observations of the finance department came only after the event was held.
As per the file notings the Finance department had returned the file to the Labour Commissioner citing that the explanation to the queries raised was not satisfactory. The notings further reveal that despite all those objections raised Chief Minister Pramod Sawant who is also the Finance Minister on 14th February this year accorded government’s expenditure sanction for that Mega Job Fair.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today stated that a perusal of the documents clearly reveals that the holding of the Mega Job fair was a planned mega scam. Demanding a white paper on how this astronomical spending has benefitted the Jobless in the state, Adv. Rodrigues has sought that those involved in this scam should be brought to book. Adv. Rodrigues has also further stated that action must be taken against officers for having held the event without the financial approval of the government despite there having been enough time to do so.