PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday shared insights from his meetings with Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Anurag Thakur, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Sawant discussed a range of topics, from GST-related matters and support for the National Games to airport policies and G20 meetings.
During his conversation with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, CM Sawant addressed GST-related concerns and sought central government backing for the upcoming National Games. He said, “First I met the Finance Minister and discussed the GST-related issues. We have asked for support from the central government for the National games. She has assured us of support. Previously when we were celebrating Goa@60, we got great support from the central government.”
In a subsequent meeting with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, preparations for the National Games, scheduled for October 25, took center stage. He further said, “The second meeting was with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur. We assured his support and discussed the preparation for the national games going to be organised from October 25.”
CM Sawant extended an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the games’ inauguration, aiming for a date aligned with the Prime Minister’s availability. The International Film Festival, a prominent annual event in Goa, was also discussed in a meeting with Anurag Thakur. “We have invited PM Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the National Games either on October 25 or 26 as per the Prime Minister… The International Film Festival that we are organising every year on November 20. We discussed the preparatory meeting with Anurag Thakur. This time too the International Film Festival will be organised with great pompous,” he added.
Clarifying the status of airports, CM Sawant conferred with Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia regarding the recently constructed Manohar Airport and Dabolim Airport. The talks aimed to address confusion and leverage the Open Skies Policy to establish new international connections via Dabolim Airport. Sawant said,
“Then we met Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. There was confusion about the newly built Manohar Airport and Dabolim Airport. In the House also we committed that we’ll go and meet Jyotiraditya Scindia… Under the Open Skies Policy, we asked for connecting new countries to Dabolim airport. He has assured us that he’ll consider it for the Open Skies Policy.”
In a meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, discussions revolved around ensuring ongoing civilian aviation access to Dabolim Airport, despite significant investments in the area. CM Sawant also advocated for the reduction of buffer zones, a matter taken up with the assurance of resolution through a forthcoming meeting.
He said, “Next meeting we had with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. He assured us that Dabolim airport will always be open for civilians for aviation. As we are investing there so much. Next, we talked about buffer zones. We asked to reduce buffer zones from 200 to 50. The Defence Minister said that he is organising one more meeting with the defence in charge of Goa, and we are resolving this issue. So that people who are constructing houses there get license easily.”