Current Affairs

IFFI 2012 Skeletons:Goans Artist Not Paid, Non-Goans Artist Cleared

Questioning the biased attitude of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG) and its Chairman and Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar towards the Goan artists when compared to the Non-Goan artists, Congress spokesperson Alexio Reginald Lourenco has alleged that stand taken to negotiate with the local artists before releasing their payments for performance at IFFI 2012 is nothing but another attempt of harassment to the local Goans, when Non-Goan artists and contractors have been paid full amount.

It is interesting to note that Non-Goan artists such as Vaishali Samant, Hrishikesh Ranade, Sukhwinder Singh and two companies Suvarnyug Media & Manoj Joshi Entertainment were collectively paid Rs 75.07 lacs. “While so far not a single Goan artist has been cleared; instead ESG has asked for the Goan artists to renegotiate their rates,” expressed Lourenco

Vaishali Samant – a known artist – in the Bollywood circuit is known to charge anywhere between Rs 5 to 7lacs, however to perform at IFFI 2012, ESG has paid her Rs 24.72 lacs in full. Similarly another popular Bollywood playback singer of ‘Chaiya Chaiya’ fame Sukhwinder Singh who reportedly charges Rs 7 to 8 lacs per performance has been paid Rs 25 lacs.

Lourenco has demanded that a vigilance inquiry be conducted into all the works of IFFI 2012 and has challenged the Goa government to declare in the next 24 hours the expenditure incurred on IFFI 2012 with break-ups on cultural programme, venue construction, lighting & sound costs, travel & hospitality costs including volunteer payments. He further alleged that Goan artists are being called by ESG officials to change their quotations and back-date their bills.

It is also interesting to note that some RTI activists have filed an RTI appeal on December 31st 2012. However, so far the ESG has not replied to a single RTI application on IFFI 2012. The issue was also taken to the First Appellate Authority, but after the first hearing the RTI details requested has not come through. “The government is trying to hide the facts and now trying to cover-up the wrong doings by creating false evidences through back-dated papers.”

Another point of question arises on the fact that ESG General Manager Shripad Naik who was responsible for all the tendering process for IFFI 2012, where it is alleged the irregularities have taken place, has now been made the Chairman of the Technical Audit Committee for the clearances of the pending bills.

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