Ex-gratia paid to retired seamen hiked
HERALD REPORTER/MARGAO, JUNE 6, 2010
Taking up cudgels for the retired Goan seamen, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha spoke to the general secretary of National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) Abdulgani Serang over the Rs 200 ex-gratia relief paid to the retired seafarers and widows.
The Chief Minister spoke to the NUSI general secretary after a delegation of the retired seafarers Associated led by President Ifron Dias, Agostinho Fernandes and Peter Crasto met the former over the ex-gratia relief.
Kamat told Herald that Abdulgain has said that NUSI has mooted a proposal to enhance the ex-gratia relief from Rs 200 to Rs 400 per month.
“When I spoke to Abdulgani, he said that NUSI does not pay the relief, but a trust which is being managed independently”, Kamat said, adding that NUSI has proposed to now increase the relief to Rs 400 per month.
On the other hand, South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha is believed to have questioned the NUSI general secretary over the pittance paid to the retired seafarers and widows.
The MP questioned Abdulgani whether the ex-gratia relief of Rs 200 is adequate to even meet the basic needs of a human being.
Sardinha is believed to have reminded the NUSI general secretary that even the Goa government is paying Rs 1000 monthly dole for senior citizens and point blank telephonically told Abdulgani that the monthly ex-gratia relief of Rs 200 paid to the retired seafarers is totally unjustified and unacceptable.
Incidentally, seafarers have recalled the assurances given by the NUSI general secretary to seamen way back in 2007 at a meting held at NUSI Maritime Academy to enhance the ex-gratia relief to the retired seafarers and widows.
In fact, seafarers in the know said the NUSI bulletin has been handing out assurances in recent times to enhance the ex-gratia relief, but in vain.
The retired seafarers had been asked for a hike in the ex-gratia relief of more than Rs 1000 given the economic plight of the seamen and widows.