Special Correspondent

PANAJI: The Goa NRI Affairs Commission has urged the State Government to allocate funds in the State budget towards an Emergency Repatriation Fund proposed by it to take care of the needs of Goans overseas who are in distress.

The lack of budget allocation for this plan, as well as for a proposed awareness campaign to check illegal recruitment, has irked Goa NRI Affairs Commissioner Eduardo Faleiro.

Mr. Faleiro told presspersons here on Friday that it was the “incompetence and negligence” of a senior State Government bureaucrat, who has since been removed as Secretary for NRI Affairs, that was behind the failure of these schemes to find a place in the budget. Ruing the quality of administration in the State, Mr. Faleiro called for measures to impose discipline, and curb inefficiency and corruption.

Chair in Portugal

Mr. Faleiro said the Indian Council of Cultural Relations had created a Chair in Hindi and Indian Contemporary Culture, to be established in Lisbon.

“The Portuguese Government promotes the study of Portuguese language and culture in Goa and elsewhere in India, but there is no reciprocal presence of India in the academic circles of Portugal," he said.

“Our embassy in Portugal is in the process of identifying a suitable academic institution where the Chair will be set up,” he added.

Mr. Faleiro backed the demand made by Goenkarancho Ekvott, an organisation of Goans in Delhi, that jobs at the Goa Sadan and Goa Niwas in Delhi should be given to people from Goa.

Illegal agents

Mr. Faleiro expressed his displeasure at the inaction of State law enforcement agencies over complaints about illegal recruiting agents who had reportedly duped people.

He had taken up the issue with the Protector-General of Emigrants in New Delhi, he said. Despite requests to the State Government and the police to pursue the cases, no convictions had taken place so far, he said.

He had decided to set up a committee to monitor the status of the cases, Mr. Faleiro added.