Parrikar was addressing around 300 people consisting of women and retired seamen as well at private hotel near the office of Goa seamen association of India (GSAI)-who had convened the public meeting-on Wednesday, February 8.
GSAI president Dixon Vaz earlier informed the crowd that Parrikar had called him when he (Parrikar) was in New Delhi and thus he asked Parrikar to tell all the seafarers what his plans were.
“These are the times of elections and I am not telling you who to vote for, that is your personal choice” said Vaz while adding that ultimately the people’s aim should be in seeing that their demands are met.
Stating that all their grievances were serious in nature, Parrikar said that if he was elected as chief minister he would not only address all their grievances but would increase the ex-gratia amount being paid to retired seafarers from 200 to 2000 a month within 15 days of forming his government.
“Within three months I will see to it that a seafarer cell is formed with a seafarer commissioner as it takes that much time and please note that it was my government that stated the NRI commissioner office, added Parrikar.
Parrikar further promised to create an insurance scheme that would cover loss of life, permanent damage due to injury and loss of employment within three months.
“We have had several meetings with the chief minister Digambar Kamat over the last year and he has only made empty promises” added GSAI secretary Michael Beny Da Costa while criticizing the congress government for failing to sincerely address their grievances.