Panaji, Sep 27 (IANS) The BJP-led coalition government in Goa on Wednesday approved a six-month extension for offshore casinos parked in the Mandovi river off Panaji and said that a policy decision would soon be taken on their relocation.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar exhorted the people not to “draw a wrong meaning” on the decision taken by his cabinet vis-a-vis allowing a six-month extension for the offshore casino industry.
Parrikar said that the decision was in tune with the promise made by him during the monsoon session of the state assembly. The Chief Minister had then promised a new policy to relocate the offshore casinos from the river.
“We have extended by six months, but I don’t think I require six months. By December as promised, we should be able to come out with a main policy,” he said.
The state has five operational offshore casinos anchored in the Mandovi river off Panaji while nine function from the numerous five star hotels located in the state.
Government sources state that the casino industry could be relocated to the premises of the under-construction Mopa International Airport in Pernem, around 45 km from Panaji, where a special entertainment zone is being created.
Parrikar said that as an opposition legislator he was against the casino industry and had promised to shut them down but was forced to allow the casino operators to continue because of the money they had invested in their business ventures in Goa.
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