SGDPA decides to collect Sopo for three months
Decision to end dispute between fish market wholesale traders and former entrepreneur Sopo over collections; Have electronic tenders to streamline the collection process
MARGAO: The South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA), at its first board meeting on Thursday, decided that it would collect Sopo temporarily for the next three months in a bid to end the dispute between wholesale fish market traders and former entrepreneur Sopo and streamline the collection process.
The meeting was chaired by the Chairman of SGPDA and Vasco MLA Krishna ‘Daji’ Salkar.
Sopo is a kind of nominal fee collected daily from floating peddlers and petty traders for the use of vacant space.
“This decision was taken to put an end to the dispute over the Sopo collection. There was a court order stating that the Authority was to collect the Sopo until the bidding process was completed. So we will do that and we have an online bidding process, which will be transparent and anyone can bid,” Salkar said.
Digambar Kamat, Board Member and MP for Margao, also said that the e-tendering process was the best solution and that with the SGPDA itself collecting Sopo in the meantime, it would streamline the processing of bids. collections at this time.
Kamat also urged the Authority to pay the salaries of daily workers. SGPDA staffing issues were also discussed during the meeting.
Decisions made by the Authority under its former chairman have been criticized, but Salkar said he would not make accusations directly without reviewing all the details first.
However, he questioned why the Authority in the last term had taken decisions which he said “lack of legal value”.
Salkar pointed out that the Authority has a huge financial liability and could find itself in trouble if action is not taken sooner. He gave the example of pending payment of bills worth several thousand rupees to various agencies, contractors as well as ministries. The SGPDA has not yet paid its electricity and water bills.
“This matter was raised during our meeting and instructions were given to settle these bills. The government will decide if an investigation is needed into this case,” Salkar said while answering questions from the media.
He added that the Authority was assured of the full support of the Minister of Regional Planning (TCP).
“We also discussed a provisional roadmap. We haven’t made any decisions yet, we will at the next meeting, but the overall goal is to increase the revenue of the Authority. For example, we have plots in Davorlim, which we will start auctioning,” Salkar said.
He added that other government departments also operate on land owned by the SGPDA and issues regarding the revenues to be earned by the Authority will be discussed directly with the government departments.
He specified that if the question of the increase of the rents paid to the SGPDA by the tradesmen was discussed, a decision on this subject will be taken only after study of the file. He said another key area was the development of markets where a new car park can be built while the gradual construction of the wholesale fish market will be accelerated.