*Seafarers irked over 3 years validity, demand permanent scheme
PANAJI: The state government has notified the Goa Welfare/Pension Scheme for Seafarers, 2023 in the Gazette dated July 6.
The beneficiary retired Indian seamen fulfilling the eligibility conditions shall be entitled to a gross pension of Rs 2,500 per month under the scheme. However, the validity of the scheme is only 3 years.
“It shall be deemed to have come into force on 1st June, 2023 for a period of 3 years,” states the notification.
Seafarers have urged the government to turn the scheme into a permanent one instead of keeping it valid for just 3 years.
Demanding that the government reconsider its decision and make the scheme permanent, the Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) accused Chief Minister Pramod Sawant of failing to keep up to his promise in the Goa Legislative Assembly of making the scheme permanent.
GSAI accused Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas of acting like a mouthpiece of the Chief Minister and welcoming the decision, instead of demanding to make the scheme permanent.
It may be recalled that seafarers’ community has been demanding for the last several years to make Goa Welfare Scheme for seafarers permanent, however, yet again the government has notified the scheme only for next three years and that too with clause which will deprive hundreds of retired seafarers in availing benefit of the scheme.