Goa CM Parrikar rules out state delegation's travel to Europe

Goa CM Parrikar rules out state delegation's travel to Europe

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has ruled out any state delegation travelling to Europe, to publicise the exposition of St Francis Xavier's relics, which is scheduled to be held during November-January 2015.

"The state government has been very specific that there will be no foreign trips until we frame guidelines for the same. Whoever is saying that a Goa delegation will go to Spain or Europe, they should know that we won't allow it. It may be a minister's wish, but we will not approve any trip at the cost of the state exchequer," Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters, responding to news reports about Goa state tourism minister Dilip Parulekar planning a Rs 4-crore foreign junket.

Parrikar said that the Goa State Chief Secretary has been asked to frame guidelines about foreign trips.

"We will allow foreign trips only after guidelines are approved," Parrikar said.

Recently, the Goa state government was caught on the wrong foot after six of its MLAs, including three ministers, planned tours to Brasil to witness the football World Cup.

The junket was severely criticised by the media, forcing the Goa state government to cancel it.

Parrikar said that during the recent meeting with Union Tourism Minister Shripad Naik, the idea of a publicity campaign for the exposition of St Francis Xavier's relics was floated.
"But it was just a proposal," he said.

Parrikar said that if the union tourism ministry approved the trip at its cost, without Goa pitching in with finances, than there would not be any objection to the publicity campaign.

"If the Centre spends, than the issue is different. I have said that we will not allow it using Goa state funds until guidelines are drafted," Parrikar said.

Incidentally, the Archbishop of Goa has announced the dates of the once-a-decade exposition of St Francis Xavier's relics from November 22, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

St Francis Xavier was born in Spain on April 7, 1506 and arrived in Goa, which was a Portuguese colony, on May 6, 1542.

His missionary work took him across Asia over the next ten years. He died on December 3, 1552, on Sancian island of China, after which his remains were initially laid to rest in Portuguese Malacca, which is present day Northern Malaysia.

Two years later, the body was moved to the Portuguese colony of Goa and installed in the Basilica of Bom Jesus, near Panaji, where it remains.

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