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Cheap Liquor Reduces Tax, Protect Lives: Minister

Taking a jibe at Opposition criticism on yet to be disclosed new Excise policy for 2015-16 that is expected in a week, Excise Minister T Padma Rao Goud today said the TRS government was committed to protect the lives of people in villages falling a prey to illicit liquor.
Addressing the media at Secretariat today along with Excise Principal Secretary Chandravadan and others here, Padma Rao Goud said unmindful of revenue loss of hundreds of crores, Chief Minister K Chandrsekhar Rao has taken a courageous decision to reduce VAT from Rs 1800 to Rs 700 (about 1.50 lakh cases being sold) on each case. He slammed the Opposition parties for crying foul with protests though during the Congress regime they did not offer ex gratia to the illicit liquor victims for six years, he charged. “On knowing the illicit liquor deaths in the districts, I convinced Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to grant Rs 30 crore towards ex gratia and distributed cheques to the kin of victims, he said. He said the State government will come up with a new liquor policy in four or five days to protect lives of the consumers as the content will not be spurious. “We have taken a decision to encourage cheap liquor after finding that some 60 to 70 persons in a village died due to consumption of illicit liquor. Consequently, women at tender age of 30 to 35 years are becoming widows and their children becoming orphans. Our aim is to ensure that the lives of the poor people in the villages are protected despite consuming harmless IMFL cheap liquor.Denying reports of new name and product and availability of cheap liquor in every village and belt shops, Padma Rao said there are some 50 types of cheap liquor available at least in three shops in a mandal headquarter or so. An IG level official will coordinate and supervise raids on illicit or spurious liquor centers and will take stern action against those involved, he warned. “We will protect the lives of the people through cheap liquor instead and conduct widespread publicity for the purpose”, he said. (NSS)