Panaji: Goa Ports Minister Michael Lobo on Thursday demanded a law to rein in 'Indians' from buying agriculture, orchard and non-settlement land tracts in Goa, saying more in-migration would reduce the indigenous Goan population into a minority soon.
Lobo said he was contemplating tabling a bill in the state Assembly, which would enable only those with 25-year domicile to buy land in the coastal state.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Goa Opinion Poll day event here on Thursday, Lobo, a BJP MLA, also said he would lobby with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and state BJP chief Sadanand Shet Tanavade to pass a law in the state Assembly, allowing non-Goans to only purchase flats and land tracts which are already converted into settlement zones.
"We have enough people coming from outside the state and they are staying in Goa. Six lakh non-Goans are already in the state. We (indigenous Goan) are nine lakh. The new population census shows our population is 18 lakh. Their figure has increased, ours has not. Original figure of Goans has not increased," Lobo said, adding the indigenous population would soon reduce to a minority, considering the rate of influx.
"But you cannot stop Indians from coming into Goa... They can come as tourists, they can buy flats, they can buy 'sanad' (converted to settlement) land, no problem... but we should have a law stopping sale of agricultural, orchard land and non-settlement areas," Lobo said.
He said being a part of the Union of India, it was not easy to debar Indians from outside the state to buy land in Goa, but a legislation could help arrest the increasing trend and put a hold on in-migration.
"We can bring in legislation in the Assembly. A law should ensure that Goan orchard land, Goan agricultural land and Goan settlement land cannot be sold to people from outside the state. They should have a minimum 25-year domicile certificate," Lobo said.
For the last few years, the demand for special status for Goa has been doing the rounds in the political and social circles in the State, which has been facing challenges stemming from rapid in-migration, shrinking land resources and a resultant dilution of identity.
In October last year, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had also expressed concern about the increasing rate of in-migration into the state.