Panaji: With confusion prevailing over the dates of the forthcoming International Film Festival of India (IFFI) to be held in Goa, an agreement between the Union and Goa government remains to be inked.

State Chief Secretary Sanjay Srivastava said that the Goa government wants the Film Festival to conclude on December 2, a day before the feast of St Francis Xavier, attended by lakhs of people, even as the organisers planned to hold the film fest between November 23 and December 3.

Srivastava said the Festival might be held either from November 22 to December 2 or from November 23 to December 2.

"If the inaugural date of November 23 is not changed then the festival will have to be curtailed by a day," he said.

Goa has been hosting IFFI since 2004 and a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed every year between the Goa government and the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) for this.

The agreement was supposed to be signed on September 9 this year, which is yet to be done.

The festival of St Francis Xavier is an important event on the religious calendar of Goa. Lakhs of devotees arrive at Old Goa, 9 kms away from Panaji to participate in the feast of the patron saint, whose relics are preserved at Basilica of Bom Jesus.

Srivastava said that MoU would be signed soon after the issue of dates is sorted out.

(Agencies)