Hyderabad, June 25 (INN): Rejecting the liquor policy announced the State Government, YSR Congress has said that it would toe the agitation path against the permit rooms as the main aim of the policy seems to be increasing the revenue without any concern for the people’s welfare.
“The Government has put the GOs under wraps until it was exposed by the media and has announced the liquor policy in a hurry which has no mention of closing down the illegal liquor (belt) shops and has single-mindedly concentrated on enhancing its revenue without heeding to social concerns,” Party leader and former MLA A Praveen Kumar Reddy told reporters here on Tuesday.
The liquor policy has given permission to liquor shops to open permit rooms after paying a fees of Rs 2 lakhs and this will increase the atrocities against women and other criminal activities.
The new policy has no mention of closing down the illegal liquor (belt) shops which also contribute for increasing crime rate in the state. There are over 2 lakh such liquor outlets in the state and government opted to ignore this factor, Praveen said.
We oppose the policy outright and will agitate if the permit room provision to the 6,000 wine shops is not withdrawn. Nearly 30,000 cases of atrocities against women were reported in the state and in the Speaker’s home constituency itself a woman was killed by a drunken person.
This apart the crime rate and accidents too are on the rise during the past three to four years with the easy availability of liquor, he said adding that YSR Congress will discourage the easy availability of liquor and will be harsh on belt shops.
The new liquor policy instead of regulating the free flow of liquor has been vastly encouraging liquor sales and we strongly oppose it, he said.
The State always had a soft corner for liquor mafia and has issued 35 GOs to manufacture over 7.4 crore litres of liquor. The revenue on liquor has increased from Rs 5000 crores during YSR term to Rs 22000 crores now which shows that the concern of the government is only on filling up its coffers, Reddy said.
As TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, who was the person responsible for the illegal liquor outlets (belt shops), is in no position to oppose the ruling Congress and its policies, we will take up the cause and agitate to reverse the liquor policy and do not allow permit rooms besides wine shops, he said.
“Our policy on liquor is very clear. We will appoint 10 women constables in every panchayat to check illegal outlets of liquor and discourage the sale of liquor by making it available at higher prices and at select places,” he said.