Goan ‘pao’ is the most preferred bread in Goa. It is very famous, especially with locals. Goan cannot think of their day begins and end without the pao on their table. The trend of making chapatti is catching up in Goan household but still it cannot replace the pao. The story of “PODER” will give you the complete insight into the life of the ‘pao’ makers of Goa. Goa’s BJP-led government under the leadership of then CM Manohar Parrikar had assured the All Goa Association of Bakers of a subsidy which according to them is not fulfilled till date and the association has warned if the demands are not fulfilled soon then all the bakers over the state of Goa will unite together and start selling the ‘pao’ for rupees 5 instead of rupees 3.

The former president of the union Peter Fernandes on Wednesday while addressing to media on the occasion of international bread day had brought to the notice of media, the promise made by Parrikar of providing them subsidies and giving them the status of Industry that has not been fulfilled till date. Peter further claimed that their children are not willing to take up this profession despite being a lot of scope into this industry and hence he demanded that the government should provide them with some incentives and schemes which will help in reviving this dying industry.

Fernandes has brought to the notice of media that new FDA policy has directed the bakers having turnover of 1 lakh, to employ the skilled personnel, which is not possible due to high pay scale of rupees 30 thousand and such trained people are not available in Goa and hence sought the policy to be revoked by the government.

Another issue Fernandes brought to the notice of media is the objections raised by the emerging housing societies in the rural areas against the use of their furnaces claiming that bakers are existing prior to these housing societies who protest against the smoke is being emitted from the bakers oven in villages and he sought the government protection in this regard.

Fernandes further demanded from the government the power subsidy showing the exorbitant electricity bills and simplifying the procedure to obtain the government loans making them unable to convert their existing firewood ovens into the electrical or gas based ovens.  Another demand which according to Fernandes is pending for a long time is the provision of auctioned firewood by the government to operate their traditional firewood ovens.  Fernandes further blamed the faulty schemes introduced by the government and the norms of which are very difficult to fulfill, according to him “More than two dozens of bakers had applied for the scheme introduced by the former CM Manohar Parrikar in 2012, but none of them succeed due to non-completion of formalities as it was inappropriately designed scheme”.  According to him, this resulted into increase in the cost of the bread in spite of reduction in the size of it. He also pointed out that, there are 600 bread makers in the state out of which only 60 of them carrying on with the traditional business while the rest of the had sublet their units to the outsiders to carry on with business. He claimed that if the government failed to implement the schemes and FDA policy is not reviewed then it will result in discouraging the traditional business of Poder and it will force them to shut down their business.

Fernandes also gave the information that the program of “Poderanchem Fest” which is scheduled to be held on 2nd October at the Socorro Church Square in Porvorim will be the first of its kind in Goa where they will display the traditional bread making process, showing how this industry had evolved.

If you are a goan, you can only imagine the consequences of the closure of traditional bread making business due to the lack of government support. How about the rising of a day without the ‘honk’ of traditional poder at your door? Can you imagine that? If not, then something surely needed to be done to make sure that “Poder” survive in Goa or else we will not have any options left but to manage with the sliced bread. Oh God, it is difficult to imagine? Please do not forget to leave your comments and suggestions on this issue.

Source: Various Sources

Edited by Goa Prism News Desk        

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