CM collecting J-tax, others looting in rents and transport: Ashok Babu
Only Rs. 41,000 Cr on welfare but liquor revenue Rs 17,500 Cr
AMARAVATI: Telugu Desam Party MLC P. Ashok Babu on Friday accused the YCP Government of making a U-turn on its liquor policy by aiming at increased revenue and by indulging in massive corruption at multiple levels in the name of running the Government retail liquor shops in the State.
Mr. Ashok Babu said that the ruling party was boasting of spending Rs. 41,000 Cr on welfare programmes alone for the poorer sections but it was not talking at all about Rs. 17,500 revenue from liquor sales during 2020-21. It was clear the Government was taking back all the given benefits and more from the people in the form of increased VAT, excise duty, licence fee, etc. Petrol, current, sand, property tax, drainage and water charges were hiked already.
Addressing a press conference here, the TDP MLC said that of the Rs. 17,500 liquor revenue, the people were paying Rs. 11,000 Cr towards VAT, excise duty, etc. The remaining Rs. 6,500 Cr was towards the cost of liquor. Of this, Rs. 5,000 Cr worth liquor was sold by only three companies which included SPY Distelleries. Some other brands were allowed selectively. All these companies were paying nearly Rs 350 Cr J-tax to the Chief Minister every month.
Mr. Ashok Babu further said that in order to cover his fraud, the CM was allowing his party leaders to loot nearly Rs. 500 Cr by collecting huge rents from the Government retail liquor shops run from their low value premises. On the other hand, the state-wide liquor transportation contract was given to one particular leader who was taking away Rs. 25 Cr benefit. He was collecting Rs. 30 per carton transportation while this charge was only Rs. 19 a few years ago. The YCP began multiple scams in liquor sale as well just as it had committed multi-fold corruption in the land acquisition, levelling and distribution of house sites.
The TDP leader recalled how CM Jagan Reddy swore on his belief in his party manifesto as the Bible, the Quran and the Bhagavadgita but now he totally lost sight of those values in his hunger for easy money. The CM broke his promise on reduction of 20 percent reduction in liquor shops by reducing it to 13 percent during 2020-21. Moreover, the Government proposed to open 80 liquor malls by paying heavy rents in order to promote liquor sales. Andhra Pradesh was being turned into ‘Madyandhra Pradesh’ (liquor state).
Mr. Ashok Babu deplored that the Jagan liquor policy had put people to unbearable suffering and over 12 persons died just in August month last year after consuming sanitisers as they were unable to buy YCP cheap liquor at a high cost of over Rs. 150 per quarter.