PANAJI: After the High Court rap, teh Chief Minister’s Office here has clarified that the Sai Nursing institute of CM Dr Pramod Sawant did not take any funding from the District Mineral Funds.
“It is clarified that a scheme was approved under District Mineral Fund towards Sai Nursing Institute under rural development initiative in mining affected areas. However, Sai Nursing Institute did not take any benefits of the scheme and no amount was disbursed to the Institute by District Mineral Foundation,” said CMO in a clarification issued here.
CMO said the Sai Nursing Institute has written to DMF that the institute does not require any funding for any of its public service programmes.
A foundation set up to address issues such as pollution in areas affected by major mineral mining sanctioned ₹3 crore to a nursing college linked to chief minister Pramod Sawant in August, prompting the Bombay high court at Goa to seek an explanation from the state government.
The high court on January 9 asked the state advocate general to file an affidavit in this regard as it heard an environmental NGO’s petition alleging North Goa District Mineral Foundation misused its funds. The petitioner argued the sanction “does not appear to be for the purpose for which the fund is to be utilised in terms of the statutory prescription.”
₹3 crore was sanctioned for Sai Nursing Institute following a proposal from the skill development and entrepreneurship directorate.
Sawant’s Sai Nursing Society established the college in 2014 in the chief minister’s constituency of Sankhalim, which has many shuttered mines.
Mineral foundations were set up in each Goa district affected by mining for major minerals in line with Section 9B of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. They are mandated to fund drinking water supply, environment preservation and pollution control measures, health care, education, welfare of women and children, livelihood and skill development, sanitation, etc.