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Delegation Urges Goa Governor to Reconsider Amendments to Code of Comunidades, Stresses Democratic Decision-Making and Revitalization of Agriculture



Panaji: Goa Governor Urged to Reconsider Amendments to Code of Comunidades, Delegation Presents Concerns

A delegation of elected officials from various Comunidades in Goa recently met with H.E. the Governor of Goa, Shri P. S. Shreedharan Pillai, to express their concerns regarding recent amendments made to the Code of Comunidades by the Goa Legislative Assembly. The delegation, consisting of Tulio de Souza (Guirim), Sandeep Khaunte (Bandora), Sávio J. F. Correia (Margao), John Phillip Pereira (Nagoa), and Oldrin Pereira (Olaulim), raised issues related to consultation, revitalizing agriculture, and encroachment on Comunidade lands.

The Governor, while acknowledging that he had already assented to some bills passed in the Assembly session, expressed a keen interest in the Comunidade system in Goa and the importance of making agriculture appealing to the youth. The delegation emphasized that any amendments made to the Code of Comunidades should adhere to the consultation and decision-making protocol outlined in Article 652, ensuring democratic participation of stakeholders.

Additionally, the delegation highlighted concerns that dilution of the Code of Comunidades could weaken these bodies and render them ineffective in the current circumstances. They proposed utilizing the Comunidades as a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ to revitalize agriculture in Goa. The delegation also requested the Governor to seek a report on the government’s actions to address encroachment and land-filling on Comunidade lands.

In 2014, following a court order, the Government of Goa established a ‘Comunidades Commission’ to address various issues related to the Writ Petition. After extensive hearings and consultations, the Commission presented its findings and report to the Chief Minister in February 2016. The delegation urged that any amendments should align with the suggestions presented in the Commission’s report to ensure the effectiveness and vibrancy of the Comunidades in today’s context.

Consequently, the delegation requested the Governor to withhold his assent to the bill and return it to the Legislative Assembly for reconsideration.

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