Special Correspondent

Excise revenues have reached Rs. 20,000 crore

Shortages of farm inputs and essential items continue

HYDERABAD: The Telugu Desam Party on Tuesday said it was time that the State was declared a model in the country in aggressively promoting alcohol consumption among people and extracting maximum revenue.

Excise revenues

Addressing a press conference, the TDP leader, N. Janardhan Reddy referred to the way the All India Congress Committee president, Sonia Gandhi had been praising the Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and wondered if she would pat the back of the latter for his “latest achievement in mobilising revenue of a whopping Rs. 20,000 crore from excise.”

Volte face

Dr. Janardhan Reddy wanted to know if such aggressive promotion of liquor was a fulfilment of the Congress pre-election promise made in its manifesto of introducing prohibition in a phased manner.

The excise revenue has reached Rs. 20,000 crore from a mere Rs. 3,000 crore in 2004.

Even for such meagre excise revenue, the then Congress spokesman and now the Finance Minister, K. Rosaiah used to accuse the TDP Government with promoting liquor consumption not sparing even babies.

What will he have to say now ? In fact Mr. Rosaiah should resign on moral grounds, having made that accusation then and doing the reverse now.

Shortages continue

The Finance Minister should also know that there is shortage of everything in the state from farm inputs, essential commodities to drinking water but not of liquor, he added.