Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday chaired his first Cabinet meeting after coming back from medical treatment in the US as the Cabinet cleared a slew of proposals, including releasing ailing aged prisoners.
Parrikar spent nearly three months in the US where he underwent treatment for a pancreatic ailment and returned home last week.
Among other decisions, the Cabinet recognised US state of Hawaii as the "sister state to Goa".
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Parrikar said even during his US stay, he was in touch with the state administration on a regular basis and participated in all key decisions.
"I was absolutely in touch with the state for all decision-making purposes. Every decision was referred to me through e-mail and I used to approve it personally from the US," the 62-year-old BJP chief minister said.
"I had a detailed idea of what was happening in Goa," he said, indirectly referring to the Congress allegations that key files were not cleared by him but "someone else".
The main opposition party, in fact, hadfiled a formal complaint with the Goa Police's Crime Branch, alleging that "someone else", and not the chief minister", was clearing files.
The Cabinet on Monday passed a resolution recommending Governor Mridula Sinha to pardon the aged prisoners who are ailing behind bars.
"The Governor had requested me to consider the cases of genuine prisoners who are aged and ailing behind bars. Accordingly, we decided to recommend to the Governor to pardon remaining years of sentence of three prisoners who really deserve leniency," Parrikar said.
Among the prisoners is 91-year-old Gurudas Naik who has spent more than ten years behind bars. The other two to get relief are Mario Jose D'Silva (73) and Shivaya Parihar (73).
In another significant decision, the Cabinet approved the draft of an agreement to be signed between Goa and State of Hawaii of the USA which will promote both the regions of the world as "sister states".
Parrikar said all the necessary approval has been obtained from the external affairs ministry to sign such an agreement with the island state of America.
As per the agreement, Goa and Hawaii will recognise that cooperation between the two states will contribute to improving the standards of living of their respective people.
"The cooperation would be in the fields of trade, tourism, sports, technology, pharmaceutical, cashew wine business, cultural, culinary and educational exchanges, yoga, ayurvedic and ancient Hawaiian Lomi massage, agriculture, skill development, fisheries and art and culture," he said.
The Cabinet also gave approval for summoning the monsoon session of the legislative assembly from July 19, said Parrikar.