TDP chief terms the new Excise policy as ‘farce’
Rejecting the new Excise policy as a “farce”, Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday wanted the government to follow Kerala and Delhi’s model of running the shops and scrapping of belt shops.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Naidu said far from reducing the role of liquor syndicates, the new policy based on lottery would increase it. Shops would continue to be run on benami names. There was no chance of reduction in MRP and people’s weakness would be exploited to the hilt with Excise and taxes taking away lion’s share. The policy did not make any attempt to get rid of corruption in the system as reflected in ACB raids and the way even Ministers wards were involved in liquor syndicates.
The government should change its thinking and stop looking at Excise policy as revenue generating machine and impose restrictions like daily sale timings from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. as is done in Delhi, he said. Telugu Desam would favour a restrictive liquor policy as people’s health and their family life was more important than revenue.
As a senior politician he said he was surprised by the reaction of people towards corruption and the way they voted in the recent byelections. “I do not know what goes on in their mind”. He wondered if there could be 65 by-elections in a short span and how a party like TD which was in Opposition could pool resources to contest.
But it is lack of leadership too that was ruining the administrative system and making it corrupt, he said. To a question, Mr. Naidu said his son Lokesh was happy with his business and he did not foresee any political career plans for him.