PANAJI: Opposition MLAs of Goa met the state chief secretary on Tuesday to demand a seperate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the coastal state, which will do away with paid quarantine for Goans working on ships amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The opposition MLAs, including Goa Forward Party's Vijai Sardesai, Jayesh Salgaonkar and Congress' Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, presented a memorandum to chief secretary Parimal Rai at the state secretariat near here.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Sardesai accused the Pramod Sawant-led government of discriminating against ethnic Goans and instead offering a red carpet to non-Goans entering the state during the lockdown.
On their return to the coastal state, Goans employed on ships had to pay for their stay at some quarantine facilities, while non-Goans were put up at free quarantine centres, he said.
"Why is this treatment being meted out to Goans? We demand that quarantine facilities be made free of cost," he said.
The GFP leader further said the Centre has allowed state governments to frame their own SOPs, tailor-made for each state.
The delegation also demanded that the state government should provide "white paper" on Goa's preparedness to tackle any further spike in the cases.
Congress MLA Lourenco said several Goans, especially those in the Middle East, had lost their jobs and wanted to come back.
"These people are living in the camps, as they have lost their jobs. They should be brought back on priority," he added.