The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Andhra Pradesh Government enact a law to curb manufacture and sale of spurious liquor, arrack and ‘gudumba’ like the Gujarat Government.
It may be recalled that the Gujarat Government has amended the Prohibition law providing for seven to ten years of imprisonment for those found guilty of spurious liquor manufacture, transport, storage and sales. It the spurious liquor results in any death, the guilty will attract death penalty.
Talking to the media, party spokesman Katari Srinivasa Rao and Mahila Satta State Convener S. Saroja Devi pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh Government viewed liquor as a source of revenue and encouraging its consumption. “The Government is expected to earn an income of at least Rs.10,500 crore by way of excise duty, sales tax and other fees during the current financial year. The people will be spending not less than Rs.15,000 crore on liquor consumption.”
The Lok Satta leaders pointed out that already 70 lakh families have been ruined by the liquor evil. The Government liquor policy under which the shops are auctioned to highest bidders will result in proliferation of unauthorized outlets (belt shops). “People are already going without nutritious food in the wake of the escalation in the prices of essential commodities including pulses. If they fall victim to the liquor menace, their health will be in ruin.”
The Lok Satta wanted the Government to halt liquor shop auctions. Instead, the Government itself should run the business through limited outlets.
The Lok Satta said, the High Court order on GHMC elections vindicated the party’s stand that the reservations were done irrationally.