Bangalore: Poor deserve cheap but safe liquor, feels Siddu
Daijiworld Media Network – Bangalore (SP)
Bangalore, May 15: Chief minister, Siddaramaiah, it is learnt, feels that the poor people of Karnataka are in dire need of cheap liquor, as they are facing a financial crunch after arrack was banned by the coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy in 2007. Accordingly, he is learnt to have conveyed to the top officials of excise department his intention to introduce cheap but safe branded liquor for the poor people, and asked them to work out ways and means of achieving this objective.
On Tuesday, the chief minister held a meeting with the departmental heads. Thereafter, he said that the poor people, particularly the labour class, have been facing lot of problems as they are compelled to go for costlier liquor after a ban was placed on arrack in the state. He told the excise officials of his inclination for easing their burden by providing cheap and safe liquor alternative to costlier varieties. Sale of both Indian-made liquor and Indian-made foreign liquor have registered a sharp increase in the state in terms of sales since arrack ban was enforced.
Towards preparation of a new budget, the chief minister held marathon meeting on Tuesday at his chamber, and reviewed performances of a number of departments including finance, energy, revenue, and water resources. Siddaramaiah concentrated on his work, even as his senior party colleagues were in New Delhi in an effort to become members of his ministry. Siddaramaiah is scheduled to leave for New Delhi on Wednesday May 15 for holding discussions with the party top brass.
Siddaramaiah has asked commercial taxes, excise, stamps and registration, as well as motor vehicle taxes departments to revise their revenue targets for next year and generate more revenue. The stamps and registration department was told to upwardly revise the guidance value of land in major cities of the state, and continue to revise the same every year. The finance department was told to curtail unnecessary expenditure and improve tax collection, besides preparing a white paper on its present state. He also wants the officials to draw up strategies for supplying uninterrupted power to rural areas of the state.