An Idea As Cheap As The Liquor

  • Sale of liquor to extract money
    from people
  • Decision for official sale of
    cheap liquor
  • Health to degrade and pockets to

Hyderabad: The
state is going to get epidemic with alcoholism. Tetra packs of cheap liquor are
going to make a permanent place in the pockets of many. In spite of having
promised prior to elections to uproot belt shops, to implement shift-wise
liquor eradication and to not see liquor as a principal source of income for
the state upon coming to power, Chandrababu and his Government took it too easy.
One of the files Chandrababu had signed on immediately after taking oath was
pertaining to cancellation of belt shops. There is no instance of cancellation
of even a single belt shop in the state.

Booze and
doze, says the Government!

The Government is in the hunt for ways to multiply
its income with the help of alcohol. The cover up for the decision of sale of liquor
in tetrapacks is that this will prevent illegal supply of liquor in border areas.
The Government has totally forgotten to eradicate liquor. Excise officers have
been given a target to encourage the sale of 180ml tetrapacks of cost Rs.45
each. Distilleries have been ordered to manufacture 20% cheap liquor. Over
40,000 belt shops are under running throughout the state. The idea of eradication
has been totally pushed aside and concentration of the Government has been put
on how to increase its income through liquor. The quantity of liquor being sold
has gone so high that liquor now seems to be more extensively available in the
villages of the state than drinking water.

Aim at income growth

By the time of bifurcation of the state, the Government’s
income from sale of liquor in 13 districts was Rs.10,250 crore but now it has
reached to Rs.12,647 crore. As if this is not sufficient, Chandrababu’s
Government has now decided to fill the villages with flowing liquor, thus
snatching thousands of crores of rupees from people in order to multiply the
income in this sector. Thus the attractive tetrapacks of liquor are going to
strike the market. Excise department has been issued orders in this matter.

Lame excuses

The state Government has decided to get at
least Rs.1000 crore into its treasury at any cost. It has chosen the liquor sector
for this. Cheap liquor will be filled in attractive tetrapacks and supplied to
every corner of the state. To avoid criticism the Government also got ready
with a reason to back their decision. It is stating that NDP (Non-Duty Paid)
liquor is being sold at the state border areas and the tetrapacks are supposed
to keep this illegal trade in check.

What about liquor eradication?

Chandrababu’s Government has announced that
liquor in the state would be eradicated in shifts. As part of it, the
establishment of district level de-addiction centres also was promised. But in
the two years, neither the de-addiction centres have been set up, nor were the
alcoholism prevention committees formed. This illustrates the commitment of the
state Government towards liquor eradication. It has not bothered about the
deaths caused by liquor consumption in the state. The exposed case of adulterated
alcohol in Vijayawada city is already notorious. While states like Bihar are
implementing eradication of alcohol, the Government of AP is irresponsibly
promoting the sale of liquor right from the village level. It is to be noted
that minister Kollu Ravindra himself has recently announced to the media in
Vijayawada that eradication of liquor in AP would bring problems.

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