PANAJI: GFP President Vijai Sardesai today accused the State government for failing to take the shack operators into confidence while formulating and implementing the BEACH Shack policy.
Addressing a press conference, Sardesai said that the policy will have serious ramifications on the tourism shack industry as it allows only those between the age of 18-60 years in the business.
He said that the policy is basically intended to retire the traditional beach shack operators who are above 60 year.
“Tourism and mining is the backbone of our economy. Shack owners are the main ambassadors of tourism in Goa. The government has not taken shack owners into confidence before going ahead with the Goa Shack Policy 2023,” said Vijai.
He further said that the shack owners are called for discussion on the policy but the government is not revealing the contents of the shack policy.
“I have spoken to the Chief Minister telephonically on this issue. He is out of station. I have told him that he will be writing to him personally,” he added.
Vijai also demanded that shack policy should be done with the consent of shack owners who are the original stakeholders.
Government is going ahead with shack policy without taking stakeholders into confidence. During the meeting, the shack owners were called and discussions started in meeting but the government did not show them the policy,,” he added.
Sardesai said that the draft policy should be shown to the stakeholders. Why is the state government hiding the policy to the ambassadors of tourism.
“The major issue is the policy is that shack will be allotted to people between the age of 18-60. Government is trying to retire shack owners,” he added.
“With this the state government is violating fundamental right to work. U cannot ask anyone healthy to stop working as per Indian Law,” he added.
Vijai also said that 570 applications were disqualified of Goans last time. He also questioned what kind of a policy is this.
He said that shacks are one of the few businesses in the coastal areas which are still in the hands of local people on the basis of the assurances given by various governments, that tourism shall benefit the locals.
“We are opposed to the Model Shack policy adopted by Department of Tourism. For whom are these four ground-plus one model shacks? Will the local shack owners be able to bid for the model shack when the upset price is Rs 1 crore? Hence, it is a clear attempt to get outsiders into the traditional shack business run by the locals,” he said.