Current Affairs

RTI documents reveal Goa Cabinet Ministers have 172 staff on pay-roll

Chief Minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar and his eleven cabinet Ministers have a total of 172 office staff paid by the State exchequer. This has been revealed in the information obtained by Adv. Aires Rodrigues under the Right to Information Act from the General Administration department at the Secretariat.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar tops the list with 30 staff while Co- operation Minister Deepak

Dhavalikar manages his office with only 7 staff.

As per the rules revised last year the Chief Minister is now entitled to a maximum of 33 office staff while each cabinet Minister is allowed up to 15 staff.

PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar, Power Minister Milind Naik, Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar and Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar have

all 15 staff each. Water Resources Minister Dayanand Mandrekar has 14 while Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and Industries Minister Mahadev Naik have 13 each. Forest Minister Alina Saldanha has 12 staff while the Labour Minister Avertano Furtado has 11. Interestingly, Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza has managed with 12 staff.

As per the documents obtained under the Right to Information Act, out of the 30 staff working in the office of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, only three are from the minority community. Joint Secretary Michael D’Souza, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Levinson Martins and Section officer Rahammatulla Aga.

The documents also reveal that though the Chief Minister is entitled to only two OSDs, he has currently four. Of the two Joint Secretaries the Chief Minister is entitled to, one is a BJP worker Siddharth Kunkalienkar appointed on a salary of Rs 70,000 a month. It is for the first time that a non government officer has been appointed to such a post. Any appointment to a post from Under Secretary upwards has always been drawn from the Goa Civil Service.

Also appointed as Special Assistant in the office of the Chief Minister is Mr. Giriraj M. Pai Vernekar on a pay scale of a Joint Secretary. It may be recalled allegations have been made that Vernekar was heading the massive media blitz campaign launched by an NGO, Friends of Good Governance (FOGG) in the run up to last year’s Goa Assembly elections.

The documents also reveal that two Ministers have staff brought on deputation from the Central Government. Sanjay Naik,  a LDC from Customs and Central Excise has been appointed as Junior Assistant while Sunil Kumar Damodaran as Private Secretary and Babu Shetye as Personal Assistant both from Mormugoa Port Trust. All three are now working in the office of Power Minister Milind Naik. Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has as his Private Secretary Premanand Kadam, a Transmission Executive from All India Radio.

A perusal of the documents also reveals that five cabinet Ministers do not have any staff from the minority communities working in their office. They include Health Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar, Co-operation Minister Deepak Dhavalikar, Water Resources Minister Dayanand Mandrekar and Industries Minister Mahadev Naik.

Of the total 172 staff working in the office of the Chief Minister and his eleven cabinet Ministers, only 28 are from the minority community which includes three Muslims. Out of the 172 staff 40 are ladies of which seven are working in the office of Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar.

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