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Goa legislators’ World Cup jaunt cancelled Pressure over ‘waste’ of taxpayers’ money

PANAJI, India, June 14, (AFP): India’s Goa state called off a planned junket for six legislators to Brazil’s football World Cup on Friday, caving in to political pressure over the “waste” of taxpayers’ money. The proposed trip, costing the coastal state about nine million rupees ($150,000), had come under sharp criticism as Goa reels under financial stress, especially after a ban on mining two years ago that significantly dented its revenues.

Goa’s sports minister Ramesh Tawadkar said next month’s trip was intended as a research mission as Goa is set to host India’s National Games in 2016 and bidding to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament the following year. “We wanted to study the conduct of the game,” said Tawadkar, who was due to lead the delegation, three of whom were state ministers. “But considering the public sentiments, the government has decided to drop the proposal and not to go ahead with the visit,” he told reporters.

Earlier on Friday one of the state ministers had told local media they would pay for their own trip to Brazil, without burdening the taxpayer. The state government, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that swept to power nationally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, had faced scrutiny over the trip from the opposition Congress party

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